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One Poster To Go, Please

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“So, uhm, if you want I could take you.” Scully raises a questioning eyebrow at him.

“To the shop. For the poster.” Mulder explains, swiveling in his chair to point at it. Another pencil falls on his head with a soft plop. Scully bites the inside of her cheek, hard, to stop herself from laughing. She missed him; but obviously not as much as he missed her.

“We have work to do, Mulder.” She tells him in what she hopes is a commanding voice.

“Nah, look around you,” she doesn’t, “The office is impeccable and each and every report is filed.” Scully stares at him, unblinking.

“I’m serious,” Mulder assures her as another pencil falls on the desk, rolls away and lands on the floor. Mulder clears his throat and quickly rises from his desk chair. “Call Skinner if you don’t believe me,” his hand lands on his spot on her back and she can’t help the small sigh that escapes her lips when she feels his warmth there, “Now come on.” Mulder gently pushes at her and finally Scully gives in.

“I do want to believe.” Scully sighs and Mulder, grabbing his coat, stops for a moment to glance at her. She grins, knowing he has questions; what really happened on your vacation, Scully? Maybe she is going to tell him. Right now though she enjoys the vague teasing too much.  

“Well, then,” he swallows hard, “Let’s go.”

And they do.

The head shop is not a place Scully wants to set foot in. Ever. She steals a glance at Mulder, who doesn’t even think twice about entering. She’s right behind him when a wall of sweet, heavy scents hits her in the face and immediately makes her dizzy.

“You sure this is where you got the poster?” She asks him and he nods. What she really wants to ask him is why he went into this shop in the first place. Then again maybe she doesn’t want to know.

“FBI dude!” Scully crashes into Mulder’s back momentarily before he takes a few more steps forward. She can barely see anything thanks to Mulder’s large form, but she sees a moving shadow and a moment later, when Mulder steps aside, she is introduced to “Spooky Carl” if his name tag is to be believed.

“Oh,” he grins at her, revealing a set of slightly crooked, very yellow teeth, “Is this an FBI lady?”

“She sure is.” Mulder replies. “This is my partner, Dana Scully.” For a moment she is afraid he’s going to extend his hand, but he just nods at her. Relieved, she does the same and gives him a small smile.

“What do you need, FBI dude? Some-”

“No,” Mulder immediately interjects, “The poster. Do you still sell them?”

“I sell a lot of posters, dude.”

“The I Want To Believe one,” Mulder specifies. Spooky Carl narrows his eyes for a moment before they spring open in acknowledgment. He snips his fingers, which Scully notes with some disgust, are almost as yellowish as his teeth.

“I know the one, dude. Let me check in the back. Took them there a while ago. Be right back.” He wanders off and Scully breathes a sigh of relief.

“Great place, huh?” Mulder point to some paraphernalia on a low hanging rack, grinning like a school boy. Scully has no idea what someone would even do with a thing like this, whatever it is.

“Yeah, I can see why you frequent this place.”

“Hey, I only came here because you wanted to get a poster for your – what was his name?”

“Jack.”

“Jack, right.” Mulder seems to chew on the name, trying it out for taste. Judging by his face, he doesn’t like it very much. Or really at all.

“You know, he might misinterpret you sending him this.” Mulder tells her, his gaze averted.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s a powerful message, Scully.” She feels a tickle in her throat; she swallows the need to laugh.

“He might think it's… you know.”

“No, Mulder, I actually don’t know. What are you talking about?”

“Let me explain it to you,” he turns to her, holding a small alien toy in his hand. What is this place, Scully wonders, before she loses track of her own thoughts. Mulder’s face is too close to hers to concentrate on anything else. “You spent some time with this Jack, right?” Tentatively, she nods.

“So you see, your dear friend Jack will probably think that you like him.”

“Like him.” She repeats slowly.

“Like him, yes. In a I like you, let’s date kind of way. I can’t believe I have to spell it out for you. Scully.”

“Mulder, it wasn’t like that.” Scully tells him, her voice sounding uncertain. Because maybe it was like that. Just a little bit. On his side anyway. She hardly got a good look at him, or spoken to him, really, with Mulder constantly calling her. Or Mulder’s ideas running in her head as if they belonged there.

“All right, if you say so.” Mulder shrugs, putting the alien back. “Should I buy it?”

“Seriously, Mulder it wasn’t like that!” Mulder tilts his head slightly and stares at her, puzzled.

“I just wanted your opinion on whether I should by the figurine, Scully.” She feels the blush start on her collarbone and creep up into her face..

“Uhm, yeah. I mean, no. Don’t buy that junk, Mulder.”

“You’re right,” he nods, “It’s just crap, isn’t it? Not worth it?”

“Right.” Scully draws out her answer, uncertain how to judge Mulder’s expression. Still pondering it, she almost doesn’t notice his face coming closer again.

“Scully?” His breath tickles her cheek and she shivers involuntarily.

“Hm?”

“Do you really want to buy that poster?” She doesn’t. She doubts Mulder is right – who sees a poster as a form of flirty invitation? Well, Mulder would. That thought almost makes her smile. But just in case. He’s right either way; she doesn’t want to buy that poster and send it to Jack. Jack who? Her mind asks her, her eyes fixated on Mulder now.

“Hm, maybe not right now,” she admits, “Do you know what I really want?” His face inches even closer, awaiting her answer. Or something else entirely.

“I want to get out of here,” she breathes against him, enjoying his closeness, his warmth, and she almost closes her eyes just because,

“And get a coffee. Oh Mulder, the coffee in Maine was terrible.” His head snaps back, his eyes big as the saucer on his precious poster.

“Coffee.” He coughs.

“Yeah, come on. If I decide to get a poster for Jack after all,” Mulder looks ready to pout, “I know where to go. Now I want a coffee and I want you to tell me exactly what you did while I was gone.” And she never wants to lay eyes on Spooky Carl again ever. She’s fairly happy with her very own Spooky Mulder.

“It might surprise you.” Mulder tells her, his hand finding its spot again, ushering her out. The fresh air feels wonderful and Scully takes a deep breath. Mulder watches her in amusement.

“Then surprise me, Mulder.” He chuckles, shaking his head slightly.

“I really missed y-” he stops himself just in time, clears his throat. A soft blush spreads across his cheeks and around his nose. It looks unbelievably cute, Scully thinks. “You know, coffee.” He finishes lamely.

“I don’t believe you abstained from coffee while I was gone, Mulder.”

“I thought you wanted to believe.” He grins again as she hits his shoulder playfully.

I missed you, too, Scully thinks, and hopes that one day they manage to actually let the other know.