Title: The Last Long Haul
Author:  Jaime Lyn
Email:  Leiaj@bellsouth.net
Rating: PG
Spoilers:  Vague, vague ones. ‘All things’ maybe.  Right before ‘Requiem’ I think.
Archive:  anyone who enjoys this may archive it.  Maybe email me so I can come and visit :o)
Disclaimer:  Nope.  None of them mine---except Mabel.  She belongs to me.
Summary:  Mulder and Scully’s ‘last supper.’

Author’s note:  I tried to make this piece as vague as possible as far as the timeline goes.  It can be interpreted in a number of ways.  However, in my mind, this story takes place at some point after ‘all things’ and quite possibly during the middle of ‘Requiem’---which is why I decided to put the word “last” in the title.  (But most importantly, this is WAY before Scully had any inkling about why she was feeling ill and faint.  Trust me, if this was after she found out, I wouldn’t have her doing half the stuff I’ve got her doing here.)  Keep that in mind when you read this.

For my sister, who is always so mad at me for writing during my vacation when I should be spending time with her.  Lindsay I love you for making me nuts.

The Last Long Haul
By Jaime Lyn

“How do you get drunk Mulder?”

Dana Scully drummed an impatient index finger on the table, her eyes fixated in the silent act of water dripping… down, down, down it dripped.  It splashed from the side of her glass to the table.

  “And I don’t mean slightly buzzed I mean—“ Her voice trailed off as she searched for the right words.  When none came to her, she waved a lazy hand at her own indecisiveness.  “Something beyond drunk… fall down on your ass, nothing can touch you, happy go lucky smashed and hammered and oh but what’s the right word?… a word, a word that describes the exact experience …”

 “Gee, I don’t know, Scully…”

Mulder’s words were hollow and slow, like an old forty-five that had been played one too many times. His nerves were shot, his tanned face etched with lines that went deeper than his skin. “I think you’re halfway there.  What is this?  Your third? Fourth---“


 Scully looked up at him with glassy blue eyes. “Eight eight eight, good old number eight,” she said. “Although—“ She shrugged her shoulders.  “This isn’t nearly as filling as I thought it would be. Maybe I should try something stronger.”

“Like what?” Mulder asked, rolling a cold french-fry back and forth in a pool of ketchup on his plate.  He looked at her with a deep frown in his old looking hazel eyes.  “You keep sucking down Budweisers like that and the bar’s gonna have to shut down.”

 “I can drink, Mulder.”

“Then go ahead and drink.”

“I am.”

Mulder held up a surrendering hand and sighed.  “Do whatever you want, Scully.”

Scully looked at him and nodded.  Her teeth bit softly down upon her lower lip till the blood ran warm and smooth over her tongue. “You don’t care then,” she said.

“I care but I can’t stop you.”

Scully swallowed and the sensation was stale and bitter.

All around there was silence, permeated only by the soft crooning of some unknown country melody on the bar’s old Werlitzer Jukebox.  In fifteen minutes the same song had repeated itself three times, each time stopping in the same spot... “Just can’t get you out of my mind…” skip, repeat.  The soft bridge of piano and guitar filtered through the speakers.

 Outside, the rain had just stopped its mass exodus from the clouds.  Only a few gray slivers had been left in its wake, and the moon slipped free of its foggy grasp to shine upon the wet, wet ground.

Inside the walls of Sam’s Tavern, the air reeked of dust and humidity and secrets hiding in moldy corners.  The rafters blinked and glowed from old Christmas lights haphazardly hung and nailed to the aging wood.  The television in the far corner, having lost its poor reception during the storm, cast blue and white snowy shadows that splintered on the tables and ceiling.

“My father used to get drunk,” Scully said, rolling a dented, rusty beer cap back and forth between her slender ivory fingers. “He’d go out with my mother to this place along the wharf, I don’t know what it was called, something ‘fish.’ The Flying fish? Sinking fish, swimming… swimming fish?”

Mulder sighed.

Scully shook her head and said, “anyway,  I’d wait up at the window, half asleep till I heard them come back.   Sometimes he’d come in late to tuck me in… I can still remember the smell of alcohol and Pub on his clothes and I still associate it....”

Mulder just nodded distractedly and watched her for a moment.  Her head lolled listlessly to the side as if in deep contemplation. From her lap, a small, trembling hand came up to rest against the side of her cheek, her elbow perched upon the eaten edge of the table.

“Scully…” Mulder swallowed and closed his eyes for a moment. “I think I need to get you home.”

Scully ignored him.  “Fishing hole? The fish and Oyster? No, no that’s not right.  The water fish…” She giggled to herself.  “The water fish, how ridiculous…”

Mulder shook his head.

It had been a long day, long week, long year.  Both of them were so skittish and nervous and bone tired that it hurt, literally hurt.  And Mulder especially worried about Scully, ever since she had begun feeling sick again, and ever since she’d begun hogging the brunt of their grueling, ghastly responsibilities.  Usually, it was him. Now it was her.

That afternoon she had said nothing, not a word, not until the early evening hours, when she’d pleaded with him to stop on the side of the highway during the drive home.  She’d thrown up once in the pouring rain, then dragged him to the nearest tavern where, (after insisting she was fine, contrary to his many protests) she proceeded to nurse beer after beer, saying that she wanted to, quote, ‘do something for herself, like a normal human being.’

 Following that, she’d said nothing to him about anything of any importance, instead instructing him to ‘eat something, goddamn it, Mulder, you haven’t eaten all day.’ And he’d complied with little argument.

Now, beneath the soiled diner bulb that hung above her head, she looked small and defeated, her beautiful ivory skin aflame in the half glow of shadows.  Her golden-copper hair formed a disheveled frame that hung in strings around her sweaty, ivory skin. And her soft oceanic eyes, usually intelligent and bright, looked dilated and out of focus.

She was, in a word, drunk.

“Ahab didn’t do it all the time,” Scully said, allowing the razor-sharp edge of her beer-cap to play and dance along the line of her fingernail.  “But after the long hauls…” She nodded to herself as if remembering.  “I think he needed the intoxication.”

Mulder frowned.  “Long hauls?”

Scully smiled wistfully and snatched up one of the empty beer bottles.  Like a glass telescope, she held it up to her right eye and stared into the half empty bottle.

“Naval assignments,” she explained, “long painful ones that kept him out for five… no, six months at a time.  Afterwards, he’d come home and kiss my mother and hug us kids.  I missed him and I couldn’t imagine what it must have been like, out there and surrounded by nothing but the sea…”

“I wouldn’t know,” Mulder said.  With a deep breath, he reached out over the table and gently pried the glass bottle from Scully’s fingers.  She frowned but allowed his fingers to graze over her knuckles.

“The sea can be a frightening place,” Scully said, rolling her head back to stare at the Christmas lights.  “It’s so lonely out there, so vast and endless and…”

She paused to frown.

“Speaking of endless, where’s the waitress with my… my…” She waved an irritated hand.  “My whatever this shit is I’ve been drinking?”

Mulder reached out an index finger to brush away a wavy lock of crimson that had fallen into her eyes.  “It’s beer, and I’d say you’ve had enough,” he said.

“I’m not drunk, Mulder.”

Mulder raised a speculative eyebrow at her.  “You’re not?”

“No.”  Scully let her head drop to the table, resting her chin upon her arms.   “I’m not.  The concept of intoxication is just an annoying theory created by people I’ve tripped over.”

 “I see.”

“No you don’t.”  Scully closed her eyes and sighed.  “You don’t know.  You don’t know anything.  You don’t understand.  You can’t understand.”

The song in the Jukebox crackled gently in the speakers and reverberated against the old walls.  “I can’t get you out of my mind,” it said.  Then the needle scratched softly against the old grooves and the record repeated the soft harmony from the beginning.

“Scully?”  Mulder lowered his head to the table to look at her.  “What do you mean by that?”

She only hiccuped and stared at him sideways.

“Scully please—“

The waitress came by and tapped Mulder on the shoulder, thus impeding the conversation from getting any further.

“Anything else for you?” the woman asked, tapping one big fat foot impatiently on the floor.  Her nametag read “Mabel,” and when she spoke it was from a thin red line just above her chin.

Mulder shook his head and looked down at his partner.   Either Scully had given up or simply passed out.  He wasn’t quite sure.  Finally, he said, “Just the check ple---“

“A martini,” Scully interrupted, suddenly picking up her head to nod at the waitress.

Mulder shot her a look.  “Scully—“

“Straight up,” Scully went on, casting him a sharp glance. “No ice.  Two olives.”

The pudgy waitress stared from agent to agent.  “Sure thing but ah…” Her thin green eyes fell on Mulder.  “You sure she… well, hasn’t she had enough?”

Mulder opened his mouth, “She—“

“None of your goddamned business,” Scully snapped.

She pursed her rosy lips and flicked her bottle cap to the floor, staring in fascination as it bounced and slid and spun on its edge.  Her large blue eyes swam with frustration.

“I’ll have you know that I am a federal agent and I know what I’m doing.  My blood-alcohol level is nobody’s concern but my own, thank you. So if you’d just waddle yourself back behind the bar and get me my drink miss—“ She squinted at the nametag —-“ Mabel, then we can all be friends and I won’t have to shoot you.”

Scully ran restless hands about her temples and laughed to herself as if it were funny.  “Because I will.  With my gun… my gun that I have---”  She looked around, confused, and felt along the booth beneath her.  She frowned, and finished, “somewhere.”

Mabel the fat waitress nodded apprehensively.

“I um… su-sure thing, ma’am,” she said, backing away with her notepad tucked into her faded brown belt.  She smiled a thin, rubbery smile at them and held up a pair of surrendering hands.  Then she was gone in a pitter pattering of little obese feet and a swishing of polyester.

Undoubtedly annoyed, Mulder folded his arms upon the table and let out a breath.  “Alright Scully,” he said.  “What is going on here?  Do you plan on telling me?”

Scully leaned across the table and smiled lopsidedly.  “In case you haven’t noticed…” She crooked her index finger at him. “I plan on getting drunk.”

Mulder wrinkled his nose at the strong stench of beer on her breath.

“I’ve got news for you, you’re already drunk.”

“A minor technicality.”

Mulder snorted.

And there was silence.

Both of them looked away and stared in different directions.  While Mulder’s eyes found the dark ceiling, Scully’s eyes found the ground.  She stared long and hard at the shape, size and color of her left shoe before looking up again.

“We’re never going to talk about this are we?”

Mulder frowned and turned his gaze to her. “Talk about what?” he asked.


“And ‘this’ would be?”

“You know.”

Mulder shook his head.  She stared at him with a hard, empty look in her eyes.

“This,” she repeated.  “Everything we’re not discussing.”

Mulder opened his mouth and Scully waited.  When nothing was said, he closed his mouth and she watched as realization suddenly washed over his brow.  She saw his expression change, his eyes crashing into her like meteors.  He stared at her.  He remembered.  She knew he would.   She had hoped---

“You’re ah, you’re talking about that night,” he said, drumming his jittery fingers on the table.  “What happened—“

“No.”  Scully bit her lip and watched him.  She could still taste the blood warm on her mouth.  “I mean now.”


Scully nodded.

Silently, a tall glass with clear liquid and two olives was placed on the table next to her.  Then several wrinkled napkins fluttered down beside it.  Neither of them noticed when the nervous waitress dropped toothpicks all over the floor at Scully’s feet, nor did either of them care when she left the mess and flounced quickly away.

Mulder took a long, slow breath.  “I’m not entirely sure what you mean, Scully.  We could talk about what happened or—“

Scully shook her head as if trying to clear it.  “No.  Not that.  Whatever happened between us happened, Mulder.  There’s no erasing it or denying it.  And I am too goddamned tired to keep regurgitating the past like its going to save us or transplant us from who or what we’ve become.”

Mulder opened his arms wide and then let them drop to the table in a confused and beaten posture. “Fine,” he said. “What then?”

“I want to talk about =now= Mulder.  What’s happening right now.”

Mulder shrugged.  “Ok.  I can understand that. I can deal with that.”  He pointed down at her martini.  “But I still don’t quite comprehend just what you hope to accomplish by chugging down that liquor like prohibition’s about to be reinstated.”

For a moment, Scully did not answer.  With a look of intense concentration on her face, she frowned and stared down at the glass.  “I don’t know,” she said honestly.   “I think… maybe it has something to do with letting go of my inhibitions.”

“Oh.”  Mulder raised a speculative eyebrow at her.  “Wanna dance nude on a table then?”


He shook his head.  “Not working.”

Scully rolled her eyes.

More uncomfortable silence rolled and settled between them.

“To drink or not to drink, to drink or not to drink…” Mulder mumbled to himself, staring perplexed at the empty bottles in front of him.  “That is the---“

“Drink,” Scully interrupted, leaning both elbows shakily on the table.

“Obviously,” Mulder muttered.

They stared warily at each other.

Slowly, Scully brought up her left hand to prop against her chin.  Her fingers wrapped around the side of her jaw until they grazed the bottom of her earlobe.  Her mouth animated her arm up and down as she spoke and her index finger tapped gently against the lock of hair behind her ear.

“Mulder, did I ever tell you that I studied Victorian poetry in college?”


Scully sighed and closed her eyes, her thoughts pleasantly swimming and bumping inside her head.  When there was no further response from him, she quietly recited,   “that time is best which is the first, when youth and blood are warmer. But being spent, the worse and worst, time still succeeds the former--”

“Robert Herrick,” Mulder provided.

Scully’s eyes fluttered open and she smiled.  “Impressive,” she said.  “You know your poetry Mulder.”

Mulder grinned.  “Then not be coy but use your time, and while ye may, go marry…”

Scully’s right hand fumbled with the olive perched on the glass in front of her. Distracted, she finished, “ for having lost but once your prime, you may for ever tarry.”  Then she slipped the slick, green ball onto the tip of her tongue and swallowed, smiling halfheartedly.

“Good stuff,” Mulder said weakly.

Scully nodded vaguely.  “Yeah,” she said.  Then--

“Mulder? Have I ever told you I wasn’t getting any younger?”

Mulder shook his head.  “I don’t think so.  Were you supposed to?”

“No.”  Scully sighed, as if thinking to herself.  She watched his jaw working beneath his skin and mused, out loud, “but I should have.”


“Because Mulder…  There’s a lot of things I should have said when I had the chance to say them.”

Mulder frowned, lines shadowing the corners of his mouth. “What things?”

“Oh I don’t know.”  Scully looked at him with sadness contouring the dark circles beneath her lovely eyes.  “Just random things… feelings, thoughts…Maybe if I had said them, you wouldn’t have thought it was a mistake when we---”

 “I never said I thought it was a mistake,” Mulder corrected, eyeing Scully’s drink enviously.  “Nothing about it—about you---was a mistake. I just figured that afterwards, we’d carry ourselves like we always had before.  We’re still the same people, Scully. Nothing’s changed.”

“Everything’s changed.”

Grasping the slender neck of her wine glass, Scully downed her martini in one fail swoop.  “We thought we could cheat… everything.  And we can’t.  Nobody can.  Moments turn into hours and hours turn into days and soon we’re bottling up everything that’s never been said, all because we’re so damned positive that nothing’s changed because we never say anything about it…”

A pregnant pause encompassed them.

“So what are you suggesting?” Mulder asked.

Scully shook her head.  “I wish I knew.”

All around them, the dark walls hummed with the same old lofty music wavering out of the jukebox speakers.  “I can’t get you out of my mind,” the air crooned.  “I can’t get you out of my mind.”  Then the soft voice wobbled and teetered on its edge, falling and falling.  Scratch, repeat.

“What do you want me to say to that?” Mulder asked.  With his fingers, he began nervously constructing a pile of french fries. One on top of the other, oil slathered on top of oil.

“I want you to say what you feel.” Scully looked at him seriously, suddenly appearing very sober despite her obviously brazen intoxication.  Her sad blue eyes turned fire and sapphire in the half light.

“I don’t know what I feel,” Mulder muttered honestly.  He was suddenly starting to wish that he had decided to get drunk after all.

Scully’s jaw trembled.  “You felt something then.”

“I know.  I was there. So were you.”

“So what was it?”

Mulder shook his head.  “I don’t know, Scully.”

“Then what the hell is this right now?”

“I don’t KNOW, damn it!”

Mulder banged an angry fist on the table, his knuckles accidentally crashing into one of the empty beer bottles.  Slowly, the rust colored container tittered and rolled into another, causing a chain reaction that rolled quietly into yet another.  The last one shook and wobbled on a precarious edge, finally slipping off the wooden table and falling, crashing to the floor.  Its slender, fragile neck shattered upon impact and the jagged shards flew  and rained about Scully’s feet.  She winced.

Several patrons looked up at them, their heads reaching out slowly from random drunken stupors to catch the commotion.  One of the barmaids whispered to the stout waitress, Mabel, who simply stared from afar but made no move to clean the mess.

The bar itself was quiet, sadly silent in fact, save for the few shreds of piano and guitar riffs filtering through the walls.

Mulder sighed and relaxed his fingers on a damp napkin.

“I’m sorry,” was all he said.

Scully sighed.  “I know.”

“Do you?”


“This isn’t easy for me, Scully.”

“You think it’s easy for me?”

Mulder shook his head. “I don’t know what it is for you.”

Scully sunk deeper and deeper into the booth cushions, clenching and unclenching a fist.  “Damn it.  I’m trying to tell you---“

“I know you’re trying to tell me.”  Mulder grimaced and waved an impatient hand at her.  “But it’s just not transmitting.”

“I’m sorry.”

“And in case you hadn’t noticed, you’re drunk Scully.  That’s not exactly helping matters either.”

Her eyes cast at him, steel and cold.  “I’m sorry,” she repeated.

Mulder shrugged his shoulders.  “No…”  He sighed. “=I’m= sorry.  I just… I don’t know what to say to you right now.”

She just stared at him.

“So what now?” he asked.  “Why are we here?”

Scully took a deep breath and considered him.  Her eyes wafted over his chestnut hair, his deep hazel eyes, his nose that was a tad too large for his face and his mouth that was perhaps a bit too small.  Sometimes he made no sense to her and other times, he was as clear as glass.

“I don’t know, Mulder.  Maybe it’s… It’s because I’m sick of it all.  Aren’t you?  Haven’t you ever felt like you just wanted to do something… different?”  Scully looked down at the glass in her hand.  “Something so out of syncopation with yourself that you’d never done it before because you were afraid of letting yourself down?  Or letting someone else down?”

Mulder leaned back against the booth and watched his partner closely.  Half of him was tired, bone tired, but the other half was wide awake and mesmerized by this soft, strangely scattered and unorganized woman in front of him.

“Been there,” he said, unable to take his gaze off her.  “Done that.  But I didn’t like the way I looked in your red heels.”

Scully laughed.  She couldn’t help herself.

Her eyes were bright and fevered, her cheeks red and splashed with natural color.  Her hair fell in tattered rusty waves about the angle of her jaw and her lips were soft and rosy.

She’d perhaps never looked so beautiful.

“Oh come on.  You know what I mean. I mean something inexplicably---”  Scully licked her lips and her irises sparkled.  “Dangerous.”

“Dangerous?” Mulder grinned and chucked his thumb at her.  “Please.  You’re a glutton for punishment and  I’m a walking catastrophe. We’ve shared many a hospital room together because we somehow always walk right into the path of danger.  And that’s not enough for you?”

“No.”  Scully looked down with a deflated expression.  Her eyelids fluttered nervously above her damp cheeks.  “Not anymore.”

“Then what Scully? What would be enough for you?”

“I think we both know.”

Mulder sighed deeply and his expression turned serious.  “I thought we’d already covered that.”

Scully sucked in a breath. “Maybe,” she said.  “But what happens after you burn that proverbial bridge?”

Mulder’s eyes fell upon her lips and he watched her lick them.

“You rebuild it,” he managed, distractedly.

Scully eyelids flickered exhaustedly shut. “How?”

“By doing things differently…” He watched the way her lashes tickled her cheeks. “And by trying to remember just why the hell this partnership worked in the first place.  The difference now is that we’re both aware of what’s beneath the surface.  And even though it’s never been easy finding common ground professionally, personally---“  Mulder paused and took a deep breath.  “The bottom line is that both of us wanted the same thing.  And neither of us desired nor cared to stop it.  And now it’s done.”

  Scully just looked at him and nodded, her head beginning to hum with a delightfully soft ring.  Her eyes watered over with a tired laziness she’d not felt before, and her arms began to feel heavy.

 “But what if…” She paused and bit her lip, peeling off a slender piece of dead skin.  Suddenly, she felt hot and damp.  “What if one of us still wanted it?  To feel what we felt and do what we did and know that it was…”  Her expression crumpled into a painful twist of resignation and longing.  “It was simply the most wonderful mistake any two people could have made.”

Mulder closed his tired eyes for just a moment and tried to block out the sight of her face, her intensely beautiful face.  He just couldn’t stand seeing her like this, so nakedly open and honest, so desperately needing what he only needed himself…

If only it weren’t impossible.

“Scully, if one of us felt that way…”  He opened his eyes and leaned his arms on the table’s edge. “then I think there would be two lonely people, both thinking about the other, both knowing that it was wrong, and both ultimately on the same destructive wavelength.”

Scully’s lips parted slightly and she took in a shattered breath.

“I know,” she whispered.

“God, Scully if it could be any other way ---“

She shook her head. “No.”  Her next words fell ragged and passionately off her lips. “I just need to know that I’m not alone.  I’m not imagining this pull, this… feeling.  This need.  You feel it too, don’t you?”

His answer, “yes.”

“But we can’t have it both ways, can we?”

 “I don’t think so,” he said.  “but I honestly have no idea.”

“Then how do we resolve this?”

Mulder closed his eyes before he spoke. He didn’t want to see her face, her defeated expression, but he knew what he had to say.  And he couldn’t bear the sight of her when he spoke the sad but simple truth.
“I think… I think if we want to keep things professional, the way they should be… then we need to draw the line. And we need to think with our heads next time and not... not anything else.”

Scully looked down at her lap.

“Oh Christ I hate this!” Mulder spat, slamming his fist down upon the table.  The sound echoed and a dull pain spiraled up his fingers. “But I don’t know any other way, If I did---”

Scully waved a tired hand at him to stop him from saying any more.  She stared at him with an empty, fragile look in her wide blue eyes.  “I suppose I didn’t really expect you to say anything else,”  she said.   Her lower lip trembled with regret.  “And this way everything returns to the way it was.”

Mulder nodded his head pitifully at her and reached across the table to gently remove the empty wine glass that wobbled dangerously between her thumb and forefinger.  Her arms were trembling.

“It’ll be alright, Scully,” he said.

Then their hands touched across the table, two pairs of desperate shaking fingers that’d slid over the empty glass to find each other.  Their knuckles grazed, then longingly rubbed and caressed.   The air went hot for a razor sharp moment.  Her eyes met his and neither of them knew what to say.

 Finally, Scully cleared her throat.


He just stared at her.

 “I’m so tired...”

He dropped his hands to his lap. Forgotten, the glass fell and rolled onto the seat.

Scully lowered her arms to the table and folded her elbows carefully above the dirty napkins.   Her hands formed a soft, makeshift pillow and her head slowly fell until she could hear the sound of her pulse inside her wrist.

“I’m tired too,” Mulder said, reaching over her hands to push her hair out of her eyes.  She murmured appreciatively into his fingers.

“You are?” she asked.



There was a soft pause. Then--



“You know any more poetry?”

Mulder smiled warmly and caressed the top of her forehead, or the most he could reach of it from his position, pushing her auburn hair back away from her face.

“Sure,” he said.  “You know Robert Frost?”

She sighed. “Make me remember.”

Mulder nodded and silently crept up from his seat.  With no more noise than the whisper of a ribbon spiraling to the ground, he crossed around the table to sit beside her.

His eyes breathed her in.

Her hair, normally light strawberry, was dark wine beneath the harsh lighting. It drizzled across her neck and spilled onto her heavy shoulders.  Her slender arms pillowed under her gentle face and her back arched with each intake of oxygen.

Mulder’s fingers slowly grazed the nape of her neck and brushed away the soft locks of hair.  With a deep breath he whispered, “I've lain awake thinking of you, I'll warrant, more than you have yourself, some of these nights---”

“Bless you of course,” Scully mumbled on, her words like velvet. “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,” Mulder picked up, motioning with his free hand to the waitress for the bill.   “But behind's behind. The worst that you can do is set me back a little more behind. I shan't catch up in this world, anyway.”

Into the crook of her elbow, Dana Scully smiled.  She felt warm beneath his touch.

“I’m sorry, Mulder, “ she said, her voice small and tired.  “I’m so sorry for tonight and--”

Slowly, she turned to face him, staring up into the honesty of his trusting olive eyes.  She wondered, if only for a moment, just how much he knew about what she really felt.  She’d never told him, though she’d made herself sick to her stomach with trying so many times before.

“Don’t be sorry,” he said.  “You needed it. I needed it.”

“You needed me drunk?”

“No.”  Mulder touched her cheek.  “But I =did= need you.”

Scully closed her eyes again.  “So that makes it ok?”

 “It makes a lot of things ok.”

Scully smiled.  “Oh. Ok.”

Above them, the soft bars of piano bridged with guitar and melted into the walls.  The words, lost and broken yet soulful from age, floated atop the rafters with the dusty Christmas lights. “I can’t get you out of my mind,”  it sang.

Then it crackled and faded… started again.

It always started again.

? Author’s end notes:

I know this wasn’t the most lighthearted of stories but thanks for reading.

In my opinion, Scully’s been needing a good, stiff drink for about a year now—maybe more. And it also occurred to me during the conceiving of this story just how LITTLE we know about Mulder and Scully.  What do they really do on their off time?  Where do they go?  How do we know Scully DOESN’T drink every once in awhile, or listen to music in the silence of her room, or feel alone?  We all feel alone sometimes.  So I thought, maybe she just needs to fall apart—if only to put herself back together again.

Furthermore, I’ve always imagined how THAT conversation would have gone (especially in light of the fact that Mulder and Scully seemed painfully UN-intimate after ‘all things’) and this is what I came up with.  Please direct all comments, feedback, tears, anger, and/or hugs and kisses to Leiaj@bellsouth.net   I’m always happy and eager to field your calls. <grin>

* Verses by Robert Herrick taken from his sonnet, “To Virgins on their Wedding Night, Make Much of Time.”

* Verses by Robert Frost taken from his poem, “A Servant to Servants.”