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Dedicated to the always lovely DeeDee for the 2019 X-Files Episode Exchange!

MASSIVE thank you to my love admiralty who beta'd for me through my procrastination and the amazing suilven for being a boo and helping me aswell! You guys are the best!


"Mulder, what are you doing with my poster?"

For years she had stared at that poster. The blue sky, the trees, the spaceship, but most importantly, the words "I WANT TO BELIEVE" written at the bottom. The poster had changed more times than she could even remember, but they had all had the same impact on her - they instilled a little mantra in her head. Sometimes a silly pep talk when she felt like her fingers would fall off before she finished a case report, sometimes acting as a proverb of acceptance when Mulder pissed her off.

She wanted to believe, and as much as Mulder was considered the believer, she felt an intimate connection to those four words because they encompassed all she'd been doing for the past three years. She wanted to believe in the science she'd dedicated her life to, she wanted to believe in their work, she wanted to believe in him most of all. The last one seemed to take the most precedence for her; she noticed that several years into their partnership when her gaze mindlessly would flit from the white block letters to the man sitting a foot away.

She wanted to believe they'd work out.

Sometimes when she'd laid next to him in bed that fateful year when his depression had consumed him and she couldn't reach him anymore, she had thought back to that two by three foot poster, the newest incarnation a floor below her in his home office, completely covered up by clippings of his newest fixations: I want to believe he'll get better, I want to believe I'll see my Mulder again, I want to believe I can stay by his side, I want to believe leaving him will be the push he needs to get better, I want to believe it won't break him.

It hadn't. She'd seen him off and on again over the past four years they'd been separated, magnets couldn't help but be drawn together after all, and he slowly but surely had gotten better.

But up until a few weeks ago, she hadn't been to their - his, she kept doing that. She hadn't been to his house since she'd walked over the threshold and turned herself from a resident into a visitor.

Then, like the last four years hadn't happened, she was back, pleading with him to get out of his never ending cycle. "You want to believe. You so badly want to believe."

She'd gone through as many physical metamorphoses as the poster, and no matter what she looked like, her message still was branded across her heart, as it always was with Mulder. I want to believe. It was the sole reason she'd sat on that couch, the same one they'd spent countless hours on making lo- stop. She kept doing that, too. Thinking about things she most definitely shouldn't.

It was the same reason she was sitting and listening to him ramble like a madman, his audience consisting of herself, the person who sparked the fire, and the one prodding the ashes to keep it aflame. Yet both of the latter, along with Mulder, kept touching base with her to see if she was believing him, because -for some reason- her believing him seemed to act as a benediction against any traces of insanity lingering in his tone.

She was listening, she was, but her attention was partly caught by the familiar spaceship against the blue backdrop that was peeking behind his shoulder. He'd cleared it off. He'd moved it. Now that she was really looking - it wasn't as wrinkled as it was when she'd last seen it. So did he get a new one?

In that moment, as ridiculous as it was, she was hurt. Was the message on this poster as replaceable as the way he treated it? Every few years, a new poster; every few years a new theory he was dedicating his life to.

All while she sat there idly and tried her hardest to believe, year after year, theory after theory.

So she decided to put her foot down. And she did...but if there was one thing she would always believe, it was her science. And her science was telling her Mulder was right, her science was telling her that she needed to help him.

Maybe that's what their cycle of shared beliefs amounted to - not mindless searching and dutiful following, but a symbiotic partnership that was necessary to find the truth.

They both liked it that way.

It was probably her renewed sense of mission, her excitement at going back to their roots, that caused her stomach to flop when she walked into the basement office for the first time in fourteen years. Her key, which she'd never taken off her keyring along with the keys to their old apartments, still managed to unlock the door and the first thing she saw was the poster she'd spent so much time looking at torn in two on the ground. The ship was the part ripped away, as if it left when they did.

But they were here. They had work to do.

She picked up the two sections of the poster and laid them on the barren desk and ran her hands over the glossy finish. It was identical to the one at their - dammit. It was identical to the one at Mulder's house. She remembered when they'd moved to Farr's Corner back when they'd finally stopped running. She remembered they'd told only a few people where they were, only those who they had deemed safe and who they'd wanted to know. Maggie Scully, Skinner, Monica, and Doggett.

A few weeks after they'd finished unpacking the house and their few belongings, they'd got a tube of cardboard in the mail with the familiar poster and a note that had simply said:

I had a feeling you guys might want this. Welcome back.

Happy housewarming.

-JD

Acting with the same precision she used during surgery, she found a roll of tape in the desk and began aligning the Poster's edges so she could take them together.

To be honest she hadn't been expecting to see a poster in the office because of John's kindness, but now that she thought about it, she remembered snagging one after her trip to Maine, following Mulder's directions to a little headshop on M street she could smell from a mile away. But she ended up never sending it out instead, just letting it sit untouched in their impromptu storage room.

She taped one side and then the other, securing the pieces together to the best of her ability while Mulder strolled in. "Hey, where'd that come from?" he asked.

"This is mine," she smiled at him, holding up the poster and inspecting her work.

"I'm sorry, I ripped it," he apologized, rubbing his hand across the back of his neck.

"You ripped it?" she repeated curiously, moving to the spot it was destined to go.

"Yeah. I was down here a few weeks ago and I just felt like no one was listening to me and I was frustrated," he explained.

She nodded, regretful that she might have contributed to his feelings of isolation, and held the poster up to the wall. "It's okay. Just help me put it up," she smiled. He did as told, grabbing some thumbtacks from the drawer and walking over to her to put them in each corner.

When it was secured, they both took a step back and admired their work. "Order's been restored," Mulder beamed, and she knew he wasn't talking just about the poster. Deciding to simply nod in agreement, she sat in her chair and went to work, appreciative when he followed suit.

It was almost like once it was up, they were thrown back to the nineties, minus the dial up and the shoulder pads. They fell into a comfortable ease and she had to bite back a smile when he, almost out of muscle memory, threw a pencil at the wall like he always used to do. He immediately recognized what he'd done and turned to her with a look of absolute guilt. "Shit, Scully. I'm so sorry."

He expected a reprimand, but instead he got an eyeroll he probably hadn't seen in years along with an amused, "Some things never change."

She looked up at him and caught him smiling at her. "No, they really don't."

But some things were changing, and it was those subtle things that made all the difference. The last time she'd really spent with him, he'd rant and rave, going on and on about things that had no evidence, which was unlike the Mulder she used to know, the Mulder she used to spar and debate with. But now she was by his side and he was pointing to a screen he'd obscured from the janitorial staff at the company for Nugenics Technology. A brilliant move she was impressed with. He was excited about proving this to her and as her gaze flickered above the monitor to the image underneath the pencils, she realized she didn't have to want right now. She believed in him.

And now, for the ultimate test. From the desk of good ol' Walter Skinner, they had a case and it had a monster in it. She just hoped things would be different this time. No, she knew they'd be different this time. And it would all start with her being the one to introduce the case. To be honest, the idea thrilled her and she had to try and calm the skip in her step as she made her way to the office.

Opening the door she was met with the familiar sight of Mulder hurling a pencil at the poster, hitting it dead on. She looked at the white text and held onto the X-file in her hand. She wanted to believe this was going to be fun.


"Mulder, have you been taking your meds?"

It was something about the question that reminded him of a conversation they'd had two years ago.

He'd pressed 'call' on her contact information seventeen times today since he'd got out of his doctor's appointment. He'd hung up sixteen times, and on the third ring he was going to make it seventeen when he was interrupted.

"Mulder?" a hesitant voice called out from the receiver. He hadn't heard her voice in a few months and just the sound made his heart ache.

"Hey, Scully," he replied nervously, playing with the cap of an orange pill bottle, listening to the gentle 'pop' sound it made when it came off followed by the 'snap' when his thumb pressed it back down.

"What's wrong?" she asked. He felt guilty at how happy it made him that she still worried about him, almost as guilty as he felt that she had to, but not nearly as guilty as he felt that she assumed something had to be wrong for him to call. But he'd set the precedent on that one.

"N-nothing," he swallowed nervously.

"Then why-"

He interrupted her before the end of a sentence had a chance to hurt his feelings. "I have a therapist now. I-I've been going for the past month." He wished he could stop stuttering. He had her attention and he didn't want to ruin it.

There was a slight pause and he felt his stomach start to churn until he heard. "Really?" She sounded pleased with him. Surprised even.

"Yeah. I like him a lot. He's been really helpful." Tone it back, Mulder. He just figured that sounded better than the fact it took him a long time to really open up; paranoia's hard to shake.

"Did he prescribe anything?" she asked. He'd just opened his mouth to respond when she immediately followed with. "I-I'm sorry, that's none of my business."

I want it to be. "No, no. You're fine. You, uh, you sent me the referral anyway so, I really have you to thank." I wouldn't have gone if you hadn't left. The words were unspoken, but were implicit to both of them. "Yeah, um, they gave me Zoloft," he responded, reading the name off the label. Take once a day with food.

"For your depression and anxiety?" she asked, diagnoses she'd been aware of far before they came out of his therapist's mouth. He could hear her hair rustling against the phone and he knew she was nodding.

"Yeah, he said it could help with obsessive tendencies too," he informed her, knowing she'd want to hear that.

"How do you feel?" She'd taken a similar medication for depression about a decade ago. She'd recognized how she was feeling and proactively tried to better herself. She had always been smarter than him.

It also meant she understood it took some time getting used to. That's why it had actually taken so long for him to be able to call. For a while he'd try, his head would get too fuzzy, and he'd quit. He didn't want to call Scully until he was definitely better and he didn't want to call and then break his promise, because she had no reason to believe him. Scully, as always, needed evidence. But God, those first few months had been hard. "I hated it at first… I felt fuzzy a lot." He could hear the similar rustling that signaled her agreement. "But after a while I could tell it was working. I feel...better. Clearer," he told her honestly.

"I'm glad you stuck with it. I know how much you don't like medicine," she explained. Her referencing her deep knowledge of him brought a smile to his face.

"Me, too," he replied, closing his mouth when he realized his happiness was audible. There was a silent tension on the phone now that they had nothing to say. He had called to say he was getting help. He said it. She heard it. That was that. There would be no "want to come over" and that "how are you" would be met with brevity that turned into frustration when he inevitably pried too hard. He'd been met with a dial tone enough times over the past two years to know that was the likely outcome.

"I'm very happy for you, Mulder. I'm glad to hear you're doing good for yourself," she replied, and he wished more than anything that the slight implication that it didn't or shouldn't affect her wasn't there.

But now two more years had passed and they were together again. There was still a shyness, but they were both finding footing in this new terrain. If he had any questions about if they were moving forward, it was answered as she softly asked "Mulder, have you been taking your meds?"

She was teasing him, but she knew the underlying question was 'are you sure this is you renouncing your old ways or falling privy to them?'. They were having fun being together, but he understood that she felt like him having the X-files was akin to an alcoholic being in a bar. But he was better now.

His words were true, he did view the work in a new, wiser light. But he'd be lying if he said half the inspiration of his speech wasn't to let her know he recognized there was more to life than work.

"Mulder, I married you so I could spend the rest of my life with you because I love you! You promised me, you promised me you would let the darkness go. That you would try. I feel like I've lost you and I don't know how to get you back. Mulder, look at me!" She'd screamed at him, her voice cracking during the last sentence. Screamed. He couldn't remember if she'd ever done that before. He was trying to put together her words when he heard her grab her keys and slam the door. How long had she been trying to get his attention?

He didn't need another mothman, another walla walla blah blah blah; honestly looking at the files just reminded him of how naive he had been. How he had chased the lies while his truth had run beside him in his blindspot. But he had Scully now, and she was front and center to him. He could tell she was biting back a smile at his speech, and the sight was a blessed gift.

He pulled the pencils out of the tattered poster slowly, little marks of various introspections marring the blue sky like a map of all the times he'd hoped for answers. He'd always be curious about the unknown, it was in his blood, but he didn't want to lose her.

"We've been given another case, Mulder. It has a monster in it," she told him, a hint of excitement lacing her tone.

He tried to bite back his shared feelings and threw one singular pencil onto the poster.

Well...if it was given to them, who was he to say no?


"Mulder!"

It was a sound that, unfortunately, was not all that unfamiliar to her ears after all these years. Mulder was screaming. While she'd been pleasantly enjoying the nostalgia of being on a monster hunting case with Mulder, this uncomfortable combination of dread, fear, and adrenaline was something she could definitely do without. Within a second of hearing it, she didn't care about the body in front of her. All she cared about was getting to Mulder.

As soon as she rounded the corner and saw him on the ground, his name ripped from her throat and she was rushing towards him. No, no, no, I just got you back. Images of the other man's gouged out neck flashed in her mind and she immediately bent down, calling his name again, as her hand touched his intact neck. Thank God.

His eyes opened this time, but her relief at that was mixed with worry as she saw blood. "No, I'm okay," he rasped, looking around dazed and confused.

"You've got blood on you," she told him, touching him as much as she could to assess his condition.

"I don't think it's mine," he replied, closing one eye experimentally.

She heard a rustling sound behind them and she pivoted so that she was covering him a little more like a mama bear defending her cub. But, luckily, it was just the animal control guy who seemed to be as hapless as he was harmless.

Not seeing a threat in the unlucky man, she turned back to Mulder and did another check over on him, making sure he was truly okay.

"If you squint it looks like...something"

Did he realize he was forgetting what personal space meant? Of course not. If his shoving evidence in front of her face wasn't clue enough he was in his enthusiastic-Mulder routine, the fact he seemed to disregard how close he was getting to her was evidence enough. He always had a knack for standing as humanly close as he could get away with. In the beginning it had flustered her, then it had frustrated her, then it had turned her on - it was a dart board for which it would make her feel like. Ultimately, she loved it and she missed it, but she couldn't let him know that.

Even though she was circling around the dead body like they were dancing, she felt her body reacting to the familiarity of it all. Even his aftershave made her insides melt. Correction, she remembers how it used to make her insides melt, emphasis on used. But she thinks what was affecting her most of all was his excitement.

She had to try and reign in how much she loved this though. They weren't together and she couldn't tease him by letting him think they were closer than she thought either of them were ready for. But it was hard; it wasn't like she could revert back to this moment or that moment of their partnership and just go on. Every moment they'd spent together had led up to their intimate partnership. It was hard being on new ground and trying to understand how to navigate the foreign terrain.

Especially when they were bantering like this.

Oh, how she'd missed this.

His eagerness, his theories being refuted by her science. This was what she'd wanted all those years ago when he couldn't stop spiraling downwards. Just as much as she could tell he was having fun, she knew he could see the same in her.

"You're really enjoying yourself, aren't you, Scully?"

I'm enjoying you, Mulder.


Sleeping Beauty

It was amazing how merely the sight of Scully immediately calmed him. Of course, he still didn't like the implications of this situation - that someone had been using this intricate peeping tom labyrinth to violate their, specifically her, privacy. And it especially didn't bode well with him that someone else had got to see Scully like this when it'd been four years since he'd had the opportunity, not counting all the dreams and late-night longings.

He'd always loved watching her sleep. It was one of his favorite pastimes, even before they'd gotten together. After, it just became a more frequent luxury.

"Do you always watch me sleep?" she'd asked a few weeks after they started having sex regularly.

"Always," he reassured, drinking in the sight of her bare body illuminated by the morning sun. Even the dust motes were dancing in praise above her nudity.

"Has anyone ever told you how proper you sleep?" he asked, raising a hand to trail his fingers idly over the curvatures of her arm muscles.

"Proper?" she repeated, laughing as her voice cracked from hours of not being used.

"Yeah, you sleep like this," he explained, before rolling on his back and clasping his hands together gently, trying to imitate the look of angelic peace that she wore so effortlessly.

His imitation broke as he smiled at the full throated laugh that escaped her lips. "I do not!"

He laughed with her and rolled over so that his body was on top of hers, looking down at her beaming face. "Yes you do, Madame Scully. You sleep like an angel and I love it." She hadn't had a chance to answer as his lips covered hers and he continued to show her just how much he loved it.

Years later and here she was… laying on her back while clasping her wrists in her lap and tucking her legs.

And here he was… unable to conceal his smile or adoration.


The shirt

He'd been so distracted by seeing her sleep that he hadn't noticed what she was wearing.

He'd always wondered where he'd put that shirt.

He knocked on the door, ready to tell her what he'd seen, but his breath was momentarily taken away when she opened the door to reveal a messy haired, sleepy Scully wearing his shirt.

"How do I look?" she'd asked, twirling around like she was in a fashion show, the hem of his Knicks jersey temporarily shifting up enough to reveal her creamy upper thighs.

She'd worn his clothes temporarily, usually to have something to keep her warm when she'd shuffled to the kitchen in the night to get them a post-sex snack. But now they'd just gotten home - or, they'd just gotten to her apartment. The pizza was on the way and she was wearing this just because she wanted to.

He pulled her to him and kissed her deeply, breaking it only to murmur, "I never thought anything was sexier than you in scrubs, but I think I have a new favorite."

Soon enough, the matching silk pyjama sets were replaced with his shirts. Sometimes she would put on whatever he'd just taken off, with only the explanation of, "They smell like you. It feels like I'm wrapped in your embrace. It's comforting."

He used to think it was cute, but unnecessary since he'd always be there in the flesh, ready to embrace at any given moment. But now knowing that she was possibly, at least at this moment, wearing his shirt after the separation made his heart skip a beat at the implications.

"It's comforting."

His gaze must've lingered too long because she looked down and realized what had captured his attention. "Wh-what do you need?" she asked shyly, crossing her hands in front of her chest as if to hide the subtle intimacy she'd accidentally revealed to him.

All it did was emphasize to him the fact she was braless under his shirt, but he didn't want to make her uncomfortable so he instead focused on the task at hand. "The motel manager saw our monster, Scully."

Our monster. His, hers, theirs, even now it all blended together.

Her eyebrows shot up as did the corners of her lips while she stepped aside and opened the door wider, beckoning him in.


"This is how I like my Mulder."

The words escaped her lips and she couldn't hide her smile.

This was the Mulder she'd spent years missing. He was excited, and despite the obscurity of his claims right now, he was backing them up, and he was confident.

She saw his eyes widen at the word 'my' preceding his name, but he still was trying to play it cool. God, he really was trying to be on his best behaviour for her. She saw the hunger and intrigue in his eyes when he came in and noticed she was wearing his shirt. Part of her was embarrassed that he now knew she still did it, especially since he knew she did it in an attempt to feel closer to him, but the other part liked the fact he knew.

But not as much as she liked seeing him prance around her, prattling on about his confidence that it was no longer a creature, oh no, but a monster. Just how he liked his cryptids.


"That...did not happen."

This man...was not sane.

"And then this beautiful woman with red hair strutted in."

He knew he was referring to Scully immediately, but he seemed to have an...alternative...telling of the events.

"I greeted her, thinking she wanted to buy a phone, but she was in the market for something else if ya know what I mean," Guy smirked, imitating charm he'd undoubtedly seen on TV, but not quite having the bravado to pull it off himself.

Mulder knew his confusion registered on his face, not quite understanding what he meant, so Guy elaborated. "She wanted to procreate, like they do in the porn" Guy explained with a proud smirk.

There was too much wrong with that sentence for Mulder to be able to hold in his bewilderment. "I'm not following."

Guy nodded his head as if he expected that answer, as if he could sense the lack of sex appeal in Mulder that he himself apparently reveled in. He shrugged and leaned against the tombstone temporarily. "I guess she could smell my pheromones from outside the store; I could smell hers as soon as she came in." Mulder internally cringed at the man's oddly textbookish recitation of human interaction, but encouraged him to go on nonetheless.

"She said she thought her phone was broken because guys weren't sending her pictures of their junk on it. Now, I'd heard how annoying junk mail is, but this woman seemed to really want it. So I told her she could cancel her pop-up blocker, whatever that is, but she told me to follow her and I learned she was talking about a different type of 'junk'," at his last words he pointed to his crotch with a smile, attempting to enlighten Mulder about this strange woman's unusual vocabulary.

Out of every single thing Guy had told him in the past ten minutes, this was the most unbelievable. "What?" he deadpanned, not even trying to hide his skepticism.

"We went into the storage room and started mating. She was like a wild woman. It was like we were animals going at it as she moaned and groaned. And she just kept whimpering, 'Don't stop! Don't stop! Don't-"

As he explained this, he crudely reenacted this fantasy by thrusting his hips into an imaginary Scully. Mulder gritted his teeth in unbridled irritation. Scully had always teased him for being possessive, and apparently it hadn't faded. "Stop," he commanded, halting the man's motions before adding, "That… did not happen."

"He said I did what?" Scully exclaimed, gawking at him.

Mulder laughed and put up his hands in surrender. "I'm just telling you what he told me."

She pouted a little and looked at her lap, her fingers twiddling nervously. He was shocked at her change in demeanour, but even more surprised at her dejected words, "He said he wouldn't tell anyone…"

For a flash second his stomach pitted out before he realized the improbability of her statement and caught the way she was biting back a smile. He nudged her lightly and laughed, "Liar."

She pursed her lips into a line, amusement dancing in her eyes as she looked at him in mock earnesty. "No, I'm not," she balked, pausing to swallow a laugh. "As soon as he shucked off that maroon vest and screamed 'I quit' I felt my loins quiver."

"Your loins," he repeated with a laugh.

"Oh definitely, and when he ran around the room like the Tasmanian Devil, destroying everything in his wake, I just couldn't help myself," she nodded.

"You had to drag him to the back room and take a picture of his junk?" he teased, enjoying this flirty banter he'd been missing so badly - enjoying being able to talk about sex in front of Scully in any capacity.

"What can I say? I needed it," she joked.

"Mulder, I need it," she whispered into his mouth as she pinned him up against the alley wall. He looked down and noticed it was a dead end and turned to her with a mischievous gleam in his eye.

"You said this was a shortcut," he huskily replied, helping her hike the hem of her dress up over her hips.

"I lied," she purred as she unzipped him and pulled his already hard cock out of his pants, stroking him eagerly while he slid a finger under the fabric of her thong.

"When you need it you need it," he murmured, thinking back fondly at the memory.

Her ears reddened as she realized he was referencing her penchant for impromptu sex in unconventional places. Then, much to his happiness, instead of reprimanding him for being inappropriate, she rolled her eyes and slapped his arm with a smile.

"Shut up, Mulder."


"Hey, buddy. You wanna come home with me?"

She'd meant it when she was on the phone. She missed having a dog to love - though she recognized that longing would be satisfied more by a six foot puppy-eyed man she knew than an actual dog, but anything to come home to now would be nice.

To say she'd been surprised when he'd ultimately left her, after she solved the case no less, in favor of looking into his horny lizard man, would be a lie. She couldn't be mad though, he was finally getting life back into him, he was healthy, he seemed happy, and at the end of the day that's all she could ask for.

But…

She looked around and didn't see any other staff lingering around the shelter. Surely this little guy would have a better home with her…

Maybe in the future she'd have someone else to come home to, but everything has to start somewhere.

"Let's go cutie," she whispered, letting her fingers tickle his brown hair.


Mulder and Scully Meet Daggoo

"Scully," he stated slowly.

"Yes, Mulder," she replied with mock innocence.

"What is that?" he asked, pointing to the ball of fur sitting on her bed.

"Um...my new dog," she explained.

"Since when did you get a dog?" he questioned.

"Since you abandoned me at the dog pound."

I leave and I'm replaced by a dog. Okay.

"So what was it you were going to tell me? How did it end up going with your lizard-man?" she asked sweetly.

Not used to her uncharacteristic enthusiasm, he decided to put off any more questions about the dog for later and fill her in. He sat on a chair facing the bed, ignoring the dog sniffing every inch of his leg, as Scully gave him her rapt attention. At first he thought she was just curious, but then it just became a little too interested to be normal - she wasn't even giving him her usual eye rolls or critical comments. When she finally did speak up, it was at a part he thought was irrelevant. "But when he got back, Daggoo was gone. The maid-"

"Daggoo?" she repeated, ignoring the dog's now incessant attention and barking.

"Yeah, that's what he named the dog, Daggoo," he said, the dog barking like an exclamation point on the sentence. "Why?"

"Daggoo's the name of a harpooner in Moby Dick!" She smiled at him, petting the dog on the head.

"Yeah, he said Daggoo-hey! Is he okay?" Mulder asked, pointing to the dog who was jumping at his legs.

"I think so, he hasn't really acted this way before," she replied, scooting off the bed.

"What's he-," Mulder stopped, realizing something.

Scully sent him a questioning look as she leaned next to the dog. "What?"

Without a word, he got up and crossed to the other side of the room. When he was as far away as possible, he looked at the dog licking Scully. "Daggoo," he declared sternly.

Without Further prompting, the dog ran to him and sat at his feet, looking up at him before barking once. A smile spread across his face as he looked over at a surprised Scully. "I think you found Guy's dog."

A look of sadness flitted across her face and she stood up, "Does that mean I have to give him back?"

Happy that he had news that would make her smile, he quickly assured her, "No, no, long story short, Guy went into hibernation in the woods. He won't be back for a long time."

"Oh," Scully laughed, "Um, well. Good."

He watched as she bent down and picked up the little mutt, barely big enough to really count as a dog in Mulder's opinion. "Do you have stuff to take care of a dog?" he asked.

Suddenly, an expression of nervousness took over her face. "Well...actually. I wanted to ask you a favor..."

In that moment, her previous indulgence of him made absolute sense. She was trying to butter him up. "I don't know, Scully," he began, his resolve weakening when he saw her lip pout.

"Please Mulder! I called my apartment when I got here and they said no, but I'd already fallen in love with him. We can't let him lose two owners in one week, that's cruel."

"I don't have any stuff to keep the dog at the house," he explained.

"I'd get it!" she offered immediately. "And I promise I'll come over everyday and take care of him and walk him and clean up after him," she was rambling like a child who had brought home a stray and it made him smile - usually it was him who had do do all the convincing. He let her go on a little, not letting onto the fact he'd already agreed when she said she'd come over everyday.

"If you do all that, then yes. I'll take him," he replied.

"Thank you, Mulder," she beamed.

Anything to get her home.