Chapter 1: I Have Your Pants
“Dana Scully speaking”
“Hi, um, I think I have your pants”
“I’m sorry that came out wrong…”
“Who is this?”
“Um, sorry, this is Fox Mulder, I live in the Guardian apartment complex on Columbia St. I think I keep getting your mail”
“Oh. Are you in apartment 52? I used to live there.”
“Yes. That makes sense, actually, but um I’ve gotten some letters and today I got a package with some pants”
“You opened my mail?”
“I only opened it because I thought the shipping information would have a phone number.”
“I see. You know you probably could have looked me up before you rifled through my Loft purchases”
“Didn’t think of that. Anyway, I have your pants.”
“Thank you for letting me know. Are you planning on returning them or are you also a size 0?”
“No, no right, I’m sorry. Where would you like me to meet you?”
“I’m actually in D.C to pick up some supplies from my office on Tuesday. Would the coffee place on the corner of 11th work?”
“Yea that’s perfect actually. What time?”
“Let’s say noon?”
“Great. I’ll see you then Fox”
“See you then Dana”
He knew it was her before she even walked into the shop. He saw a glimpse of red hair about a block down and got to spend the entire block watching her small figure push through the pedestrians on the sidewalk and he felt like he knew her in seconds. She was wearing probably exactly the same pants he had in the box sitting next to him. Probably ordered them as backups for her backups. Navy goes with everything. She walked with her head down, and even with her small frame she seemed to get people to move out of her way with no effort. Dana Scully was a no fuss, no frills, independent woman. And god damn if that wasn’t his kind of woman.
When he figured out she had lived in his apartment, he knocked on the door next to him to get the inside scoop. The gunmen had lived in the apartment for a few years longer than he had, so maybe they had seen this woman around before. It took three seconds after he mentioned her name for Frohike to start gushing about her. “ She’s got these blue eyes that stare right into your soul Mulder, red hair like fire, and God her voice...” he hadn’t shut up about her until Langley interrupted. It seems like Frohike’s adoration was more of the ‘we met in the laundry room once and I think I’m in love with her’ type. And with Frohike, you never really know if the woman will live up to his fantastical expectations. Apparently the last they saw of her was about two months before he moved in she packed up and left in quite the hurry. “God we were disappointed when you moved in after she moved out”. So far she fit the description.
She walked in the shop and before the twinkling of the bells had ceased to announce her presence she had spotted him and begun her march over to his table.
“How did you know it was me?” he smirked as she came to a halt next to his little table in the corner.
“How many other people sit in a coffee shop with a week's worth of letters and a Loft package?”
She takes off her sunglasses and he gets to take in all of her face for the first time and it almost knocks the wind out of him. Those blue eyes looked right through him. He had to tell Frohike he was right later. She wrinkled her brow when he spent too long staring so he started to shove the package in her face before she thought he was too much a creep.
“Can I buy you some coffee?” he tried to stand but it was awkward and he got way too close to her as he clamored his way up. He could smell her perfume and he swore he would never forget it. She stepped back.
“It’s no problem. I should be going anyway.” She started to back away from him and he felt a little piece of him move with her.
“No please I insist” He reached out to her and she backed up again, fumbling with the packages she was now holding. “At least let me help bring the packages to your car”
She huffed and shifted to packages again, clearly fully capable of carrying them back herself.
“Listen, Fox. I’ve got an office to drag back to Annapolis and I really don't need your help. What I do need is to get going” She turned and walked back out of the shop and someone must have slipped something into his coffee that morning because he found himself slipping through the door behind her, abandoning his half finished decaf in the bin on the way out.
Maybe it was because Mulder had never felt as much connection as when she looked at him with those baby blue eyes. He had been with more women than he cared to admit, been in love with a fair few, but Miss Dana Scully with her navy blue Loft pants that she probably owned six pairs of had stolen his heart entirely. He felt this infatuation overtake him and every cell in him was screaming not to let her go. So he followed her out onto the busy street and walked next to her as she practically sprinted through the afternoon foot traffic.
“Why are you following me?” She huffed as she tried picking up the pace, but his long legs easily kept up with her tiny strides.
“Do you believe in fate Dana?” She turned to look at him as if he had grown a second head, and at that moment a passerby jostled her shoulder, causing her to trip forward, losing her balance and crossing her feet over, bumping right into his side. He grabbed her elbow to steady her and for the second time met those ice blue eyes. He thought time stood still. If the hard corner of the cardboard package hadn't been poking him in the ribs it would have been the most romantic moment of his life. Fuck, it was still the most romantic moment of his life, with her breathing heavy and the two of them staring at each other on a crowded sidewalk, pressed together by circumstance and fate.
“Logically I’d have to say no.” She breathed out, but the blush on her cheeks told him he wasn’t the only one who felt this.
It took another shoulder to hers from an old woman with an umbrella and too much perfume to knock her back into herself. She stepped back from him clutching the package into her chest like it was Kevlar.
“I have to go. Please don't follow me again.” He watched as she walked away into the crowd, her red hair enveloped into the mob of civilians like a balloon into the sky. Never to come back.
I’ll see her again, he thought. I have to.
Chapter 2: Hi, It's Me Again
“Dana Scully speaking”
“Hi, it's me again.”
“What do you want?”
“You got another package. I didn't open it this time”
“Oh. Thank you.”
“When would you like me to return it? I don’t know if you’ll be in town any time soon…”
“I have a friend’s wedding in a week on Tuesday in Alexandria. I can pick it up then.”
“Ok sure I should be home. What time should I expect you?”
“I’ll probably come earlier in the morning on my way to the ceremony if that's alright”
“Thank you. I’ll see you then.”
“See you then.”
He was sweating. This isn’t even a date and he was practically sweating through his shirt at the idea of Dana Scully showing up at his apartment door. He hadn’t been able to get her out of his mind and he’d seen her for maybe 20 minutes tops. He had come home that day and pounded a beer like his life depended on it. The gunmen called his apartment not long after to check on him because apparently Frohike thought “he might have suffered a stroke when he saw her”. He walked into their apartment and was handed a glass of whiskey and an invitation to spill it all about the girl he was now undoubtedly infatuated with. Maybe it was love or maybe just obsession but he was stuck with the image of only her in his head. And she was going to be at his door any minute forcing him to have to look into those beautiful eyes and not have an absolute breakdown.
He was busy deciding between continuing to stare at the clock waiting for her arrival and calling her again when the wrap of knuckles on his door sounded through the apartment. He sprinted to the door, took a second to compose himself and opened it to greet his fate.
She was in a little navy dress that hugged her hips and cut deep down her chest, revealing freckled collarbones to match freckled knees. Was it bad that those knees almost brought him to his? Of course Miss Dana Scully didn't wear little black dresses. She had a little navy dress that matched all of her navy pants and was just as sexy and somehow even more alluring. His eyes followed her freckles from her clavicle to her shoulder and up her neck like connect-the-dots and yet again he looked into the eyes of an angle, noting how the deep blue of her dress made them look even more piercing. She broke his gaze to stare down at herself with an embarrassed blush and smooth the front of her dress.
“Come in. Please.” He stepped aside and her strappy heels clicked into his apartment. He fought every brain cell telling him to drink in her figure from behind. He was a selfish bastard but later tonight he’ll remember her walking through his door in that little navy dress and dream that it was just for him, not for some high-school friend’s wedding 20 minutes away in Alexandria.
“So…” She took a careful look at the room and he suddenly remembered she used to live here. She touched the counter top like she was familiar with the dust that had settled there. Something in her eyes looked almost sad, like she was reconnecting with an old friend. “I like what you've done with the place.”
“Thanks. It’s a great apartment. I was lucky to get it.” She grimaced and it dawned on him why he happened to be so lucky, her having moved out halfway through her lease with the landlord practically begging him to pick it up. He shoved his hands in his pockets like maybe that would stop him from saying something stupid. She hummed and looked up at him expectantly.
“Oh right. Package.” He almost forgot why she was actually in his apartment.
He heard her chuckle as he walked into the kitchen to grab the box from behind the counter. It was significantly heavier than the last time. If it was clothes it was some diamond studded platform boots by the weight of it. He found her staring at the fish when he returned.
“This is heavy. You want my help with taking it down to your car?” He couldn’t help himself.
“Actually, under normal circumstances I would say I can handle it, but these heels aren’t exactly made for transporting boxes of baby food.” She laughed again and he tried to hide his shocked expression.
“Baby food?” She recognized his confused gaze and explained.
“It’s for my sister. She likes to order her baby food in bulk because apparently they don’t sell it in non-organic grocery stores. She must have used my account by accident and they sent it here.”
He really was a lucky son of a bitch.
He gestured towards the door and she walked first, him following her with the package in his arms. They boarded the elevator together and it was just goddamn unfair how those heels made her the perfect height so that if he glanced over he could see straight down that little navy dress of hers. Unfair.
She clicked her way off the elevator and dutifully he followed her to the parking deck. She popped her trunk open and he plopped the case of organic baby food in.
“Well, I think I finally changed all my accounts to my new address, so hopefully this problem gets solved” She must have seen his face fall because she blushed again. “Thank you for all your help Fox.”
“Mulder. I even made my parents call me Mulder. Hated my first name. Hope that's not too strange” He doesn’t know why he was telling her, if she was going to exit his life after today. Maybe the dress had truth-inducing powers.
“Mulder.” She tasted his name like a cherry on top of a sunday, the way that would leave a red stain on her lips like the lipstick she had on now. The way that dress was cut made him think that she was the kind of girl that could secretly tie a cherry stem into a knot with her tongue. “It’s certainly not weird. Being a doctor I get called Scully most hours of the day.”
Dr. Dana Scully . It fit her perfectly.
“Well Dr. Scully, Dr. Mulder is always ready to be your personal mailman.” Her eyebrow quirked up, obviously impressed with the title.
“M.D?” she questioned like a judge running a trial.
“PhD in Psychology. Oxford University.” He stood up a little taller. She smirked.
“Impressive. Although I would be careful calling yourself a doctor unless you can complete a surgery with a Myers-Brigs test” Her eyes lit up when she challenged him. He was more than willing to submit to her.
“Nah I’ll leave the surgeries to your…” He grabbed her wrist and her eyes widened, “capable hands”. If pedestrians were not there to bump them together, he figured fate wouldn’t mind if he gave it a helping hand. The energy between them was palpable.
Psychology may not complete surgeries, but it did give him the ability to peg Dr. Dana Scully down to a tee. If he had to guess, she went to undergrad somewhere close to home, but went far away for medical school, probably the best school she could get into. She gets the buttoned up look and her quick pace from a military background, probably her father. A gold cross like the moon in a sky of stars on her chest said she was religious, likely from childhood. But that low-cut dress and strappy heels made him think there were many many layers under the stiff exterior.
“Where did you go to school?” he released her hand and tried to inhale without giving away the fact that he’d barely taken a breath while she was in his grip.
“University of Maryland for my bachelors, then Stanford for medical school. Impressed?”
She licked her lips and he wanted to peel back every layer of her, including that tantalizing dress of hers.
“Well Dr. Mulder, I need to head to the ceremony.” It was goodbye again and he hated every second of it. Now or never.
“Listen, Dr. Scully . If you're ever in D.C again, you should give me a call. I would really like to take you to dinner some time.”
He wanted to bottle the grin she shot back at him. The color of her blush should be sold on every makeup counter because it was the perfect shade. Everything about her made him fall harder and faster.
“I just might take you up on that. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to some of the good restaurants around here.”
“I’ll take you to your favorite” He’d take her to a dumpster behind a pizzeria if that's what she wanted. Just to get to see her again.
Her phone rang and she answered, a voice through the phone likely asking her where she was, as she responded with “I’m just leaving, I’ll be there in 20.” She sighed and hung up, then looked back up at him again with a small smile.
“Enjoy your wedding.”
“I will. Goodbye Mulder.”
He walked on air back to his apartment.
Chapter 3: Seems Like You Didn't Fix Your Problem
In which Dana Scully plays a trick, and our couple goes on their first date.
“Dana Scully speaking”
“Seems like you didn’t fix your problem Dr. Scully.”
“Oh good it’s you.”
“You got another package.”
“I forgot to save your number. You’ve been calling my mother’s house.”
“I needed you to call back. So I sent you something.”
“You can open it if you want.”
“You know you could have just looked me up Scully”
“Didn’t think of that. I’m gonna be in town Friday. I understand if you have plans but I would like to go out with you and…”
“Yes. Drinks, dinner, anything you want.”
“Ok. I can meet you at the apartment. Have you been to Fluer’s yet?”
“No never got around to fancy french dining.”
“I’ve been dying to try it. They opened right after I left. 7 sound ok with you?”
“Yea that's perfect.”
“See you then Mulder.”
“See you then Scully.”
She sent him a package. Before she had called he almost gave up on the beautiful Dr. Dana Scully. When she left him two weeks ago all he wanted to do was see her again. He thought about her every second. Hell, he even dreamed about her. She had infiltrated his mind and his soul and she was stuck like glue to every thought he had. He walked past shops and wondered if she would buy anything in them. He wondered what her favorite pizza toppings were. His mind formed a million questions about Dana fucking Scully from whether she liked cats or dogs to whether she had lingerie that matched that navy blue dress of hers.
But then she didn’t call him.
He let the first few days pass, but staring at the phone waiting for it to ring was becoming his social life and the gunmen were getting concerned.
“You don’t even know her Mulder” Langley said on the fourth night. He kept track of days now in nights since he’d seen her. Like ticks on the walls of the pit of his existence without her. “She could be a murderer. Or a spy.”
“She could murder me if she wanted too.” Frohike chimed in.
“Maybe she's a plant, sent to debunk your work.” Byers received a glare for that one.
“Listen, she’s none of that. She’s just a woman, and she’s probably not even interested. She would have called by now if she was” Mulder sulked on their couch, nursing a beer.
“Her loss buddy.”
“Yeah. Her loss.”
When the package showed up on his doorstep he actually laughed. Of course fate would drop an excuse into his lap right as he was moving on. It had been a week and he was just starting to get to the point where he didn’t run to the phone every time it rang praying to a god that it was her, and what he got in return was a choice. He contemplated just leaving the package on the step, pretending he didn’t see it, forcing her to call him and apologize.
But calling her was always going to be what he did. So when he wound up on the phone the second he got off work he really wasn’t surprised.
What did surprise him was the little game she had played. She sent him a package and now he was holding a hand-selected present from Dana Scully herself and an invitation to a fancy french restaurant late Friday night.
The package was addressed in handwriting too. He thought it might be from some distant relative but now that he considers it, it's probably her handwriting. Neat print fit for a doctor. He noticed she put Dr. in front of her name this time and he chuckles.
He rips the tape off and a DVD case drops out. He flips it over and of course it's the Exorcist because Dr. Dana Scully just had to make him fall in love with her even more. There’s a sticky note taped to the front of the case and his smile grew with every word.
Dear Dr. Mulder,
Last time I was in your apartment I noticed this classic missing from your collection. The fact that you have a copy of The Room and not The Exorcist is frankly an insult to film lovers everywhere. If you haven’t called me yet I don’t have your number, and I really would like to speak to you again, if only to improve your taste in film.
He was going to marry this woman if it killed him.
He might as well rearrange his calendar so that every day but Friday just said “doesn’t matter”, because work could be damned. That morning the hours spent reading through files and papers in his office felt like an eternity, and he found himself practically running out of the office, almost into his bosses secretary who was bent over some cardboard boxes in the middle of the hall.
“Oh Agent Mulder, I didn’t see you there”
“Yea, sorry Katie”
“Oh. Well goodnight”
He had almost pushed past her when he heard “Agent Mulder” in a voice that sounded more like a bird chirp to him and he would have to explain to his boss why he was so rude the next day if he didn’t so turn around he did.
“If you’re not busy, I have some friends who are going to a bar downtown later tonight, I’d love it if you could bump into me again there…” She said the word bump with a little wink and a wiggle in her hips that made her look like a jack-in-the-box.
“I have plans tonight. Sorry Kelly.”
He didn’t have a chance to see her scowl. He was already out the door.
“You’re very punctual Scully.”
He’d been practicing lines since 5. He practiced opening the door like a 14 year old boy practices taking off a bra. Hell, he cleaned the apartment for 30 minutes before realizing he did the same thing this morning. But when he opened the door every line and moved he’d ever had flitted out of his mind and she took its place. Navy was apparently her color because she was wearing another creation that looked tailor made for her. This one was more modest than the last one, but that didn’t make it any less alluring. A neckline that dipped down only a little in the middle to tease him, and little sheer cap sleeves that danced over her shoulders. She giggled and he swooned.
“Navy brat. My father always liked to be on time.” He stepped aside and she entered into his apartment and he got to take in the open back of that navy masterpiece. Picking his jaw up off the floor he followed her. She sauntered around the place like she owned it, which technically she did at one point, but it made Mulder feel like maybe it was still hers in some way. Clearly she lived here for a long time, she treated the place with this odd sense of familiarity, but the way she touched the counter-top like it might break told him things didn’t end on good terms. She found her way to the window and he joined her, looking out on the street below.
“I really did love this apartment.”
“Why did you leave? Not that I’m not grateful”
He turned to look at her, expecting another one of her giggles but she stayed staring out into the streetlamp.
“I think that’s really more of a second date kind of story”
“So there will be a second date?”
“We’ll see after this one won’t we.” Her smile was back and so was the sway in her hips as she walked back to the front door. “Come on, we’ll be late for our reservations.”
The 5 minute walk over was mostly Scully saying “Have you been to that restaurant yet?” and Mulder replying “Not yet” because unfortunately for him the gunmen prefer to eat in and he really doesn’t have many other friends. But Scully doesn’t need to know that yet, so he is more than happy to play the uncultured outsider to what is very obviously her city. She seemed to have a story for every place they passed. She was halfway through telling him about the time she almost got hit by a rogue street biker when they arrived at Fluers. A very nice host ushered them to their table and he found himself staring at her over a menu and candlelight.
“So how was your wedding”
“It was good. It was a friend from my old job here, before I moved, so I didn’t know many people”
“I’m sure you were a hit” She blushed again, staring down into her menu.
“I’m not usually much of a ‘hit’ these days…”
“I don’t believe that for a second.” She looked up at him then with this gaze that he couldn’t quite place. Whatever it was it was gone when the waiter showed up to take their order.
“So what about you Mulder. What do you do for fun these days?”
“Oh you know, run, watch movies, contemplate the enormity of the universe and the meaning of life”
“I thought that degree of yours was in psychology not philosophy”
“I took some classes.”
“I always liked Laërtius personally”
“I’m more of a Plato guy.”
“Of course you are.”
They settled into a silence and he found himself staring into her eyes again. She stared back with a smirk until she broke the gaze with a blush and more giggles. The waiter came back and poured the wine he ordered. He hoped she was giggly when she was tipsy.
“So what did you come to the city for?”
“I work at the hospital in the pediatric center as a cancer specialist. I used to work every day but since I moved back home I haven’t been taking new patients, so I only come back to see them. It’s a lot of commute but it’s worth it. I wouldn’t want to have to quit and force them to find a new doctor.”
“I do what I can.”
Of course she is some child saving super hero of a woman. He already knew he didn’t deserve a smart and sexy doctor, but this just put it over the edge. He was officially way out of his league. Why she was still sitting here was a miracle in and of itself.
“What do you do with that Oxford education?”
“I work for the FBI.”
“Ah, so you’re Agent Mulder.”
“I think I prefer Doctor better.” He could tell she was trying not to smile. He bet that she loved being the Dr. in her relationships. As much as she tried not to show it she was damn proud of herself.
“Do you profile?”
“I used to. Now I do something a little different.”
“Different how?” Her eyebrow quirked up and he chuckled to himself. Most girls are satisfied with the title of FBI agent. If they’re not, a quick flash of the badge will usually make them swoon. But not Dr. Dana Scully. She is not so easily satisfied.
“I work on cases of the unexplained.”
“Everything has an explanation”
“Of course it does Scully. But sometimes that explanation is not something that comes from the world we know”
“Are you talking about UFOs?” She sat back in her chair, eyes wide, and he leaned in, feeling the heat of the candle on his chin.
“UFO’s, cryptids, anything from crop circles to spontaneous human combustion. If the FBI can’t solve it, they toss it in my pile”
She didn’t say anything to him then, and all the confidence he had in spilling what arguably made him the weirdest human anyone had ever met was slowly fading. She took to staring at the flame in the candle, clearly contemplating how she was going to get out of this date, but then she looked up at him and their eyes met and that look burned brighter than any fire he'd ever seen.
“So have you gone Bigfoot hunting?”
Chapter 4: So How'd It Go?
In which we learn the truth about Dr. Dana Scully
“Dana Scully speaking”
“So how’d it go?”
“You know hello would have been nice Missy”
“Tell me! You can’t just leave the house on Thursday with that dress in your suitcase and expect me to not want details?”
“Did you go through my luggage?”
“I was looking for a top. But who was the guy? Was it David from work? Or Mark from that bar that one time?”
“And why should I tell you?”
“Dana this is the first time you’ve gone out in a year-”
“Whatever. I just want to know who the lucky guy is.”
“His name is Mulder…”
“It’s his last name. He doesn’t like his first.”
“Mysterious. I like it. Go on.”
“He’s living in my old apartment”
“Wow Danes that seriously some rom com shit”
“I know, I know. He’s cute. Tall, far too confident, obviously brilliant…”
“Sounds like you’re already in love”
“But I don’t think it’s going to work out.”
“What, why? It was only the first date what could he have possibly done wrong”
“He works at the FBI. On unexplained cases of the supernatural variety. X files he called them.”
“I don’t know if I can see him again.”
“Does he know?”
“Did I tell him on our first and probably only date that if he looks hard enough he likely has a file in his office with my name in it? No, he doesn’t know.”
“Do you think he’s doing an undercover investigation on you?”
“Gee thanks Mis, because the only reason a guy would be interested in me would be because he’s on a secret case”
“I’m not saying that! But don’t you think it’s a little weird that the minute you moved out of your old apartment an FBI agent investigating the paranormal moves in to take your place?”
“I don’t know Missy. I don’t know, it's just too much to think about. I’m going to go to bed now.”
“Ok. You’re coming home on Monday right?”
“Yea. I’ll see you then.”
It was her luck that something like this would happen. Hadn’t she already been through enough? She left Stanford with a medical degree and all the freedom in the world, moved to her favorite city, and started saving lives. She made the world a better place, worked her ass off day in and day out to help children, saving God’s little angels, and how does He repay her? By ripping her life into pieces and throwing them into the trash, and then lighting the trash can on fire. So she moves back home, stays with her family. She recovers, she fights to get the life she had back, and she finally develops some sense of normalcy, even getting confident enough to go back out with a guy. And he’s a fucking alien investigator at the FBI. Like she hadn’t dealt with enough G-men already. Now this man who had somehow captivated her mind for the last month was just another threat. And she really was so naive as to believe the world would throw a perfectly good man in her lap.
She certainly hadn’t been looking. When he had first called her all she wanted was for him to leave her alone. She didn’t trust men anymore, and certainly didn’t feel like putting in the effort to court one. But talking to him in her apartment made her feel those butterflies she hadn’t felt in a long time. He just had this air around him, an aura that projected both confidence and a pure wild energy, a mix that intoxicated her every time she drew near him. He grabbed her wrist and she hadn’t worn a bracelet for the next week. She could still feel the phantom grip of his fingers and the electricity that flowed through them, like a newly connected circuit powering up for the first time. He hadn’t left her head since. She tried to call him as soon as she got home the next day, but she had been so caught up with his floppy hair and lopsided smile that she had completely forgotten to save his number from her mother’s phone to hers. So she placed faith in the postal system and hoped he would be charmed by her antics. And it worked. She was going out on a date with a man who made her head spin, one who tried to pretend that he was unphased by probably the tightest dress she owned even though he didn’t close his mouth for a full minute when he first saw her.
The date was perfect until they had talked about jobs. And then he dropped the bomb and she tried to brush off the feeling in the pit of her stomach by making stupid jokes and he laughed but she couldn’t help but dwell.
“UFO’s, cryptids, anything from crop circles to spontaneous human combustion. If the FBI can’t solve it, they toss it in my pile”
Did he know? He couldn’t have. What kind of psychopath brings up the fact that he studies alien abductions to someone like her. And if he really was undercover he wouldn’t want her to know what his real job was would he? He would have lied.
Unless he was toying with her.
Unless this was another experiment on her, another way to keep tabs on her, make sure she didn’t talk, make sure she was doing her very best to forget everything that happened to her.
She got up from the bed abruptly and shut the blinds on the windows. They clacked together and then the room fell into deep silence again.
He didn’t talk about work for the whole rest of the dinner. He talked about baseball, about how he goes for runs in the park she used to walk through after a long day shift. He said “Behold, a man” when the waiter brought out her garlic and herb chicken. Mulder wouldn’t do that to her. Mulder was just a man with a job whose only interest in her life was whether she was free next Friday to go out again. He paid for the cab back to her hotel and opened the door for her to get in. He was a gentleman.
He’s trying to get her to trust him.
And suddenly everything clicked into place and the air left her lungs. She found herself stumbling to the bed, she knocked over the lamp but it was in her way and she just needed to be in bed. Her ears were ringing, she couldn’t hear, everything was going in and out of black.
He’s watching you. He’s with them. He’s trying to silence you. He’s going to follow you, gain your trust and then he’s going to kill you. He knows where you live, he can track you down, they’ve tried to take her before and he will try again. He’s with them, he’s with them, he’s going to kill you, they’re going to kill you.
Everything’s bright and she’s back in that place with needles and tubes in and out of her, and she knows she’s in a hotel in DC but as many times as she tries to wrap the blankets around her and tuck her feet under her she cannot become small enough to escape them. She feels tears hot down the sides of her cheeks and the sounds of drills in her ears and there's no escape. She hears pounding and wailing and hands grip her wrists and they burn, they burn, so she screams. She won’t let them take her again, she won’t.
“Scully, Scully it's me”
She fights it, and it’s him, it’s Mulder and he’s trying to take her, like she thought.
“Let go of me!” She shrieks, flailing about but she’s trapped, he’s got her trapped, in bed sheets tied around her wrists and feet. “Don’t take me!”
He lets go but she’s still trapped, still fighting.
“Scully no one’s going to take you.”
“Yes! Yes they’re going to take me! You’re going to take me!” He touches her hand and it doesn't burn but it makes a lump in her throat and her fist turns flat. He pulls a sheet off of her and she feels exposed.
“Scully look at me.”
She does. She looks through tears at a blurred man in her hotel room. He doesn’t look like a threat. He looks sad.
“How did you get in here.” He steps to the edge of the bed and she pushes herself back towards the headboard, away. He raises both hands and walks to the other side of the bed where he sits.
“You left your wallet in the taxi. He called me because I paid and I picked it up and brought it here. I made it to your room and I wasn’t going to come in but I heard the lamp crash. So I used the spare key in the wallet and let myself in.”
He seemed to be telling the truth, holding up the wallet as evidence. She hadn’t even realized it was gone.She unlocked the door with the key she kept in her purse. She started to take in her surroundings, the lamp crashed to the floor, the bedsheets thrown from the bed. She looked up at him and saw nothing but concern over his face.
Every emotion, shame, embarrassment, anger, sadness, all of it hit her at once and she sobbed.
He reached over to touch her but she shouted “No!”, like a wounded dog. Her voice didn’t sound real. “Please don’t touch me”.
“Do you want me to go?”
He watched as tears racked her body, never moving from his spot on the bed. She cried in a ball, hands covering her face, arms and knees tucked to her sides, protecting her from nothing. Then, she laid down, and cried until the tears had to be blinked down the sides of her face while she stared at the ceiling. She felt him get off the bed, and she bolted up, dizzying herself, but he nodded and only walked over to the minifridge to pull out a bottle of water. She sat up and he resumed his position at the end of the bed.
“Drink some water. Can you breathe again?”
She hated the way he talked to her, like she was a child. But he was right. She accepted the bottle and drank half, gulping down cold water as a welcomed change to the hot sheets.
“Yes. I’m sorry you had to see that. You can go now.”
“Don’t be sorry. I know panic attacks can be bad.”
“I’m ok now. You can go.” The crack in her voice made both of them wince. A different type of silence filled the room.
“You know I am a psychologist, but it doesn’t take an Oxford degree to diagnose PTSD.”
“I said I’m fine. You can go now Mulder.”
“What happened Dana.”
She sat and stared at him, sitting on her bed, asking her to spill her darkest secrets to him. Everything about telling him felt wrong but this is the first time anyone has offered to listen.
“About a year ago, a man broke into my apartment and abducted me. He drugged me and put me in the back of his truck and drove me to a cornfield in Virginia. I remember waking up and seeing the stars and trying to run but I was tied down. And then a bright light came and I-” She choked back another sob, but he shifted closer to her, eyes wide, and nodded for her to continue. “I don’t remember what happened. But my mother found me on her doorstep a month later in a hospital gown and…” her voice cut out. He again moved closer and when she didn’t pull back he slowly raised his hand and put it on her knee. He looked at her as if to ask “is this ok” and she nodded in response.
“I don’t remember anything except seeing my mother’s face again for the first time. She looked so… so terrified of me. Like I had grown another head or something. And then I looked down, and I was holding a baby”. She felt another tear run down her cheek.
“I was holding a baby and I didn’t know whose it was and I almost dropped it. Mom took it from me and my sister came and helped me inside, the whole time they were asking me where I’d been but I didn’t know. I didn’t remember anything. All of these people showed up at our house and asked me over and over again “where were you?” “what happened” and I just kept answering them I don’t know, I don’t know. They said I went on a bender. That I ran away from work and responsibilities, probably with some friends. They said I was pregnant and didn’t know it, and they tried to take the baby for testing but my mother wouldn’t let them. She didn’t believe them, she knew I wouldn’t do that. I don’t remember much of what happened next, but we packed up everything and moved out of my apartment… your apartment. They didn’t even open an investigation on the man that took me.”
“I can.” She had been staring at the lamp on the ground, she hadn’t noticed him staring at her with such intensity it made her shiver.
“You don’t get it. They didn’t open a case on me because there wasn’t enough evidence-”
“They didn’t open a case on you because you were abducted. The FBI has been trying to suppress alien abductions for years and you are just another victim. I could open a case on you, start an investigation, really stick it to them-”
“I am not a case that needs to be solved, Mulder.”
“But I can help you Scully. Do you remember anything from that night, anything at all?”
“I don’t understand, why would you not want to know what happened?”
“Because Mulder, because sometimes the weight of what happened is too much to bear. Because while you try to hunt down monsters they terrorize me in my sleep. Because there’s a baby in my house and I don’t know where it came from.” She realized she was yelling at him but she didn’t care. “Because frankly it’s none of your goddamn business what happened to me if I don’t want it to be. The men who you work for threatened to kill me and my family if I tried to find out what happened to me and for all I know you’re one of them.” Her voice was shrill and sharp like broken glass and it cut just where it needed to.
She met his eyes again and they were wide and sad.
“I want to help you Scully. I’ll do…” he took a breath, “anything. I’ll do anything to help you.”
“I need you to leave.”
He got up and she remained on the bed, drained.
“Will I see you again?”
“I don’t know.”
“Ok. Goodbye Scully.”
Chapter 5: You Have Got to Get Out More
In which our favorite couple goes out on dates.
“Dana Scully speaking”
“You have got to get out more.”
“I get out plenty, thank you very much.”
“Yea but ever since everything with that guy you haven’t done anything! You’ve been so mopey all week and now I bet you’re sitting in your hotel room being mopey too.”
‘You don’t know that”
“I will give you a hundred dollars if you’re anywhere but your hotel room right now, alone”
“I just haven’t felt the need to go anywhere”
“Dana you have to get over yourself!”
“Well even if I did want to go out who am I going to go out with?”
“What do you say I come up tomorrow. You know I love that old bar that was across from the hospital, you used to take me there all the time. We’ll go out, have a few drinks, flirt with some boys…”
“Missy I don’t know…”
“Dana for once in you life just have fun! I guarantee you one hour with me and you’ll have forgotten all about FBI man”
“Ok fine. But we are not staying out late because I have to work the next day and if you start taking shots I’m leaving you at the bar.”
“Not if you’re taking shots with me!”
“Love ya Danes gotta go bye!”
It was a tiny little bar called Rosco’s, packed with DC's finest, including G-men, doctors, and college students. The tables were cramped and wobbly and the floor was a little sticky in some spots but Dana had been going since she first started working at the hospital. The doctors had a routine of going out on Friday nights and she had found herself more than once dancing to the old jukebox to Billie Joel and Queen in her practical doctor heels after a long shift. If she had been thinking clearly, the thought that maybe the longstanding tradition would still be continuing this Friday might have popped into her head. But on Friday night she found herself sitting in her favorite bar nursing a beer when the music seemed to cut out and in walked what seemed like every single one of her old colleagues, ready to let off some steam after a long day of saving lives.
It didn’t take long for them to notice the two red headed girls sitting at the bar, especially since Missy stopped flirting with the bartender to start asking Scully which of her friends was single quite loudly. She recognized most of them when she looked into the crowd but there were certainly a few new faces. Resident students she guessed.
She quickly waded through all the “Dana oh my god how are you!” and “Oh wow it’s been so long!”. She was genuinely happy to see some faces. She recognized a woman named Kelsey who joined the hospital at around the same time she did. They had always been close, so when she was greeted with a hug she wasn’t surprised. Missy was the social butterfly, flitting through the doctors one by one before winding up back next to her like a meet-and-greet merry-go-round.
“We should buy them drinks!” Missy giggled at her, clearly enamored with one of the new young doctors that Scully didn’t recognize. “You know Mark’s here right?”
She hadn’t seen him come in, but it didn’t surprise her. She glanced in the corner of the pack to see the familiar salt and pepper hair of Dr. Mark Bordone, cardiac specialist. Before she left DC, the two of them had gone on a date or two. He took her to a bar like this one but much less fun and the interest was clearly one sided. But he bought her drinks and made nice conversation so she had been more than willing to entertain it. She had to admit he still looked good.
He looked over at her and smiled this big smile and she could see his eyes twinkling. She did remember that he was good at parties, the charming type. He smiled across the floor and eased his way over to her, pushing past grad students and a pair of police officers, until he sat down on the stool Missy had abandoned.
“Dana Scully it has sure been a while” He had a smile that perfectly fit his face, with shiny white teeth that seemed to add to the sparkle in his eyes.
“It sure has Mark. What have you been up to?” The slightly awkward conversation was better than sitting alone at the bar, since she had no one else to talk to now that Missy was over rubbing shoulders with the other students.
“Oh nothing much. I’ve been promoted to head of surgery. Kirk finally retired.”
“Wow. Well congratulations”. He smiled and she turned to drain her beer. She noticed his eyes flit down to her chest as she leaned back.
Let's take a moment to assess, shall we.
No wedding ring on the finger, so he hadn’t tied down one of the nurses. He was handsome, he fit her usual type, he was the biggest flirt she knew, and he wasn’t a stranger. And she desperately needed something, anything, to distract herself from the nagging FBI agent who wouldn’t leave the back of her mind.
“Why don’t you use some of that ‘Head of Surgery’ money to buy me another drink. I'm sure you’ve got plenty to spare.”
She caught a thumbs up from Missy from across the bar as the bartender passed another two beers over the counter.
It was Missy who spotted him first. She had made her way through the crowded bar to Scully, who was still sitting at the bar with Mark. Scully had made it past small talk, and four beers later was now talking about the politics of the cardiac ward with her suitor. She was about to suggest maybe they go to a more quiet table to talk more when Missy popped out of the dance floor and shouted over the music “There’s a group of FBI people at some of the back tables. Maybe your alien guy is here?”
The night had truly been going so well.
“Alien guy?” Mark asked with a chuckle, and Scully laughed with him. She hadn’t known Mulder for long, but he didn’t seem like the type to be out on a Friday night in a crowded bar.
“I doubt it” she giggled, but she shifted closer to Mark as if to show him if he was here, she had moved on. Mark had placed a hand on her thigh and maybe she would have shrugged it off 2 beers ago but with Mulder fresh in the back of her mind she let it rest.
“I don’t know but one of them is super cute so I’ll be at their table for a while” Missy giggled then slipped back into the dance floor like she was being engulfed by the blob.
“I should probably go check on her” Scully said with a grin, and Mark shot one back.
“Should I be worried about this alien guy? He’s not coming from Mars to steal my woman?” He laughed again and she forced a smile.
“No, no, he’s just a friend. And besides, I don’t think this is his scene”. She rose from the bar stool and his hand fell off her thigh easily.
“I’ll be back in a few. I should probably go pull my sister off whatever person she’s decided to drape herself over.” He was easy to come back to.
He gave her a chuckle and a wave and she allowed herself to be swept away into the crowd, moving with the flow of dancers and drunkards like tides in the ocean to the back corner where Missy had previously pointed. She spotted her sister first, sitting in the lap of some blonde man wearing his FBI bomber jacket. She was just about to stroll over and pull her away when she spotted a gaggle of girls in the next booth on the right and there he was.
Her alien guy.
He looked uncomfortable, with a blonde woman clinging to his side, laughing at something he said with this forced bounce that she probably practiced. But he smiled back at her and tossed his arm around her and Scully felt a fury deep in the pit of her stomach.
She considered just leaving Melissa to run back across the bar, but he took his eyes off Blondie for a second and to glance at the dance floor and she saw the look of recognition in his eyes as he spotted her.
In an instant she power walked towards Melissa and yanked her off of G-man number 1, ignoring her “What the fuck!” as she dragged her sister back into the dancing mob and away from the gaze of Fox Mulder.
“What the fuck was that for” Missy huffed, pulling herself away from Scully’s grip, finding a small pocket in the swarm of bodies. Scully, however, was busy peering through strangers' shoulders, trying to see if he was following them. She thought she saw him get up but she couldn’t be sure. Missy noticed.
“Oh my god he IS here! Where?” She then proceeded to try to stand on her tip-toes before Scully pulled her back down. “Is he the tall one? He is so cute Danes no wonder you’re so hung up on him.”
“Yes. But he is with a girl and I don’t want to talk to him, so I really would prefer if we didn’t make a big deal out of it”
“Oh my god you totally have to win him back. You have to talk to him. Make him jealous. You should dance with Mark!”
“Who’s Mark?” And there he was, towering over the two of them with a goofy smile that made her feel things she didn’t care to admit. Melissa happily slipped back into the dancers, probably to go find her FBI guy again, or more likely watch their conversation through elbows and shoulders.
And so they stood in the middle of a crowded dance floor, waiting for the other to make the first move.
“Mark’s my date.” He doesn’t need to know that the date was unintentional. She glanced up at him, coldly, trying to avoid lingering on the way that his shirt was unbuttoned to show a glimpse of his collarbone.
“Ah. Where is he now?”
“At the bar. Who’s Blondie?”
“My boss’s secretary. She’s been trying to get me to go out with her and her friends since I started.”
“So you’re here on a date.” Scully crossed her arms, waiting for him to get the hint that clearly she didn’t want to be talking for much longer.
“I wouldn’t call it that. Do you want to dance?” He stepped closer to her and the bubble they had created pressed in on them, making her watch the ground so she didn’t step on his toes.
“I should go back to the bar…”
“Dance with me.” His presence was mesmerizing and his scent intoxicating. The music couldn’t have been louder, and yet she felt like she could hear their hearts beating. Maybe, she could just pretend that everything hadn’t happened. She could pretend that he was just a handsome stranger she met at a bar and allow herself to be swept up in his arms.
Scully was always good at pretending.
She didn’t say yes so much as nod, and then she found his arms wrapping around her and their bubble disappeared completely and she was surrounded by him. His arms, his shirt, his smell, everything about him engulfed her completely and it made sense because as much as she tried to forget him she felt this tether in the back of her head, like a magnet pulling north, and now she had found it and she locked right into place pressed against his chest. They swayed to the music, lost in the sea of bodies, allowing themselves to be pulled with the tides of hips and hands. A song went by, maybe two, and she felt his hand dip lower to rest on the notch above her jeans.
“You’re wearing navy again” he whispered into her ear. She opened her eyes suddenly to the sound of his voice. She hadn’t even realized they had closed.
“I like navy” she whispered back, and she could hear him chuckle though she couldn’t see his face, his breath hot on her neck.
“It makes your eyes look like the sea”. As if to prove his point he pulled back from her and tilted her chin upwards with a finger. She looked up and gazed into his eyes as he stared into hers and she could feel the electricity flowing between them. She felt herself being drawn forward to him. Her eyes fluttered shut, and he was so close, and it was so perfect.
“You have a case file.”
And there it was.
“Excuse me?” She drew back sharp as a whip and she knew, she knew , it was all too good to be true.
“I looked you up, you have a case file. They did start an investigation, they just never finished it” She pulled back, pushing back into one of the dancing masses, and she felt his hands drop from her sides. Nothing is ever perfect.
“Scully I know you said not to meddle but I can help you…”
“And I told you I don’t want your help! I can’t believe you , I can’t…” She backed away from him further, hearing cries of “watch it” coming amidst the dancers.
“No Mulder. You weren’t even supposed to be here, I didn’t want to see you” He steps back in shock and they’re attracting attention now but she doesn’t care. She’s lashing out, out of what she doesn’t know. “I don’t need your help, and I don’t need you, so go back to your blonde bitch, she can clearly give you whatever you want from me”
She felt hands on her shoulders and heard a man say “Dana, is something wrong?” but all she could focus on was his face. The way he stared at her like she broke his heart.
He didn’t even know her but as she slipped away into the crowd he watched her like she was the world’s most precious jewel sinking beneath the waves.
She heard Mark talking to him, but the bodies closed the gap between them and Melissa took her by the wrist and led her to the front, out the door, and the cool air of the night hit her face.
“Do you want to go home?” Missy reached up and wiped a tear from Scully’s cheek. She hadn’t even realized she was crying. She nodded and Melissa turned to call the cab. She shivered, listening to the muffled music in the bar, processing everything that just happened.
The door opened and Mulder walked out. Instantly, her sister was back in front of her, like a 5’2 battle shield.
“I’m going to have to ask you to get the fuck away from us.” For what she lacked in stature, Missy made up for in sheer grit. She once picked a bar fight with a Navy Seal. She could take a 6’1 pouty FBI agent.
“I just want a second”
“You don’t deserve a second.”
“Please. I promise, just one second and then you’ll never hear from me again.” He glanced over Missy’s shoulder and caught Scully’s eye. Missy looked back and Scully gave a resigned nod.
“Fine, but I’m timing you.”
Mulder stepped past Melissa in the way you would step past an armed bomb and proceeded to invade Scully’s space again.
“What do you want?”
“For?” She stood with her hands on her hips, but he looked so pitiful. She noticed his eye was swollen.
“I’m sorry for getting into something that’s none of my business”
“Why?” He looked confused so she elaborated. “Why do you want to help me so much?” He looked at her again and the way the streetlights bounced off him made him look like he was glowing. She felt another tear slip down her cheek. The bar music faded away and all that was left was the humming of the lights.
“I want to help you because I feel connected to you. Ever since we first met I’ve felt this pull like a…” He searched for the words.
“Like a magnet.” He snapped his fingers and it startled her.
“Exactly. And I know, I know that everything that happened to you is really none of my business” She raised an eyebrow at him but he didn’t notice, instead stepping closer so only she could hear.
“But I like you so much. More than I think I’ve ever liked anyone. I think you’re smart and gorgeous and for God’s sake Scully you save little kids lives for a living and I don’t deserve you at all, but I want to make your business my business.” She was smiling now, and he brushed a hair back from her face, letting his hand linger down her cheek.
“All of my business?” It was a test.
“All of your business. Not even just the parts you think I’m interested in. I want the mundane, the ordinary, the outright boring. I want everything that has to do with you”
“Ok.” She looked up at him and he seemed shocked, like he truly didn’t expect the conversation to go this way.
“Yes, ok-” And she couldn’t finish her sentence because his lips were on hers and everything was right in the world. His hand found her waist and she gasped but his tongue stole it away. She returned the favor and wrapped her hands around his neck, tilting up on her toes to reach him. He kissed with a fury and she met him with equal passion, their lips moving in synchronicity. She let a moan slip out when his hand dipped lower to cup her ass through her jeans. She would have been embarrassed if he didn’t smile into her mouth when she did and grip tighter. She brought her hand to cup his face but he winced and pulled away.
“What happened to your eye?” She hadn’t noticed the color in the streetlights but up close she could see the reddish shade it was turning.
“Well your date didn’t seem to like how I made you run out crying and all, so he decided that I needed to be taught a lesson”.
“I’m so sorry…”
“Nah it’s alright. After he realized he just assaulted a federal agent he decided I wasn’t worth it” She went to run her fingers over his eye but he grabbed her wrist and instead kissed her fingers. He was about to lean in again before he heard an “ Ahem ” over his shoulder, and he turned to see Missy with her arms crossed next to a waiting cab.
“I don’t mean to interrupt whatever all this is…” she waved her hand to gesture to the two of them, “But our cab is here.”
He turned back to her and pulled her close, placing a firm, lingering kiss on her lips. She could hear him sigh when they pulled apart.
“I’ll see you soon?”
“Yes you will.”
Maybe the world could be perfect. At least for a little while.