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whole almond

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She cannot quantify it, and so she leaves it alone. Mulder is an anomaly. Scully sees the world through the scientific method: Observe, hypothesise, predict--but Mulder is unpredictable. He’s a state function, action dependent only on his current circumstances. Sometimes Scully thinks of him as ΔM: Calculate the change in Mulder’s mood if temperature and pressure remain constant.

It doesn’t mean much if she sometimes feels compelled to lean over his shoulder and quote Neruda, whisper in his ear I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair; if she sometimes thinks it might be nice to wind her arms around Mulder’s waist, absorbing his heat exothermically, because of course he is the system and she the surroundings. ΔM is always negative. Observe, hypothesise, predict, conclude. I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

Abductive, deductive and inductive inference. She’s never read Neruda. She can’t quantify it, and so she leaves it alone.

“Pass the...” she says, gesturing to the half-empty liquor bottle, and Mulder obliges with a smile, teeth half-bared behind his bottom lip.
It smells of black cherries and she immediately begins listing the properties of benzoate esters. They tend to lose the alkoxy group as a radical to form an acylium ion, which subsequently loses carbon monoxide to form the phenyl cation...Breathe, Dana. That litany was excruciating enough the first time she took organic chemistry.

But this she can quantify. There is a comfortable familiarity in the liquor, in their friendship, in the predictability of made-for-TV horror films. There is a comfortable familiarity in the scientific method. She's never read Neruda. She thinks she'd like to. Someday, but not today.