"Mom? I'm sorry to call so late, but your message said to call no matter when I got in. Is everything okay?"
"Oh Dana! I'm so glad you called. It's Fox - "
"Stop! Mom, you know I don't want to talk about Mulder."
"Dana, Fox was shot earlier today during an arrest."
There was a long silence while Dana absorbed this. Maggie waited knowing Dana's mind even if she wouldn't admit it to herself.
Finally, "Is he going to be okay?" Her voice sounded strained.
"Yes. He wouldn't let them keep him overnight."
"Well. Then I'm sure he's fine. How are you?" She had to change the subject; she wouldn't go into this. She didn't even want to think about it.
"I'm fine Dana. I miss you. When do you think you might come to see me?"
"Mom, wouldn't you rather come out here and see me. I can send you a ticket."
"Are you still seeing Brandon?"
"Uh, no." She shouldn't have called; this was not a conversation she needed to have right now.
"What happened? I thought. . . "
"No chemistry Mom. We went out a few times, no big deal." No big deal that none of the men she had dated since moving here had any chemistry with her.
"Then there's no reason you couldn't come home for a few days, just for a visit, is there?"
"Mom. Don't. I know what you're trying to do." She sighed.
"Why are you so sure I'm up to something?" Maggie knew she was breaking the rules Dana had laid out even mentioning Fox, but what if he had been badly wounded today, or killed?
"There's nothing between Mulder and me any more. There never really was. Samantha came back to him, the X-Files were closed, our work was over."
"So you left just as his life was settling down, when he was ready to - "
"Mom! Stop it! Mulder and I never had that kind of relationship. We worked together, very well together even, but we were never. . . "
"And you couldn't give it a chance?"
"You're assuming he wanted a chance." He certainly had never let her know if he did.
"Yes I am."
There was another long silence. "You seem to spend a lot of time with him."
"The last time I saw him I went to his place, he wouldn't come to me. It took a long time for him to come to the door. When he left me alone for a minute I spotted a picture he'd turned down. I had never seen it before. It seemed to be of the two of you dancing together. That's when I realized it was too painful for him to be around me and I gave him space."
"Then how did you find out about. . . " She asked in a tiny voice.
"When I heard about the shooting I called Walter. I know Fox doesn't report to him anymore, but I knew I could get information from him. The Bureau is worried about Fox, he's taking chances, he doesn't care any more."
"Mom, what are you trying to do to me?"
"Wake you up! Before it's too late. You two need each other; I shouldn't have to tell you that. You're both fairly bright people - at least I used to think so. Dana, even if you think you don't care about Fox anymore, you owe it to yourself to find out. And you owe it to him as well. You don't have the excuse that you work together anymore. Think about it Dana, he could have been killed today and you would never know what might have been." Maggie sighed. "I didn't mean to get into all of this tonight. It upset me to know how things were going with him. I care about him too, Dana."
"Good night, Mom. I'll talk to you soon." Get off the phone Dana! Think about something else, anything else!
"Good night Dana. I love you."
It was early and his arm hurt. Why the hell was someone knocking at his door now? The pain medication was still sitting on his table, but he had finally dozed off. He'd ignore it, but they didn't seem to be going away. He struggled to his feet. He looked just about as bad as he felt. He hadn't bothered to shave yesterday and now he couldn't.
He opened the door without bothering to check. Like he cared anymore. Mulder froze, stunned. A dream?
She saw the yearning, hungry look in his eyes and knew her impulsive act had been the correct one.
"May I come in?"
He nodded, unable to speak. She looked around the apartment. It was a mess - not a couple of days worth either. Then, as though he suddenly remembered something, he tried to get around her. It was too late; she'd already spotted the picture her mother had mentioned. She hadn't even know the picture had been taken, but there it was, prominently displayed - in fact replacing the picture of Samantha that had always held the place of honor on his desk.
She turned back to him, to find him blushing, but not looking away. She reached out and gently touched his arm. He didn't even flinch.
He took a deep shaky breath. "Why are you here?"
"I wanted to. . . to see how you were."
"After two years?"
"Traffic was really bad."
"Can you stay long?" Only she would have been able to hear the quaver in his voice.
"I guess that depends on you."
"I got a call earlier, well last night, telling me. . . telling me I'd left some things undone here, unexplored."
"What. . . what kind of things?"
She looked away, afraid to watch him any longer. "You." Even without looking she could tell he'd gone incredibly still.
"Have you, uh, have you got a place to stay?"
"Would you like one?"
She still couldn't look at him, but held her hand out. He took it without hesitation.
"I'm Fox Mulder. I'd very much like to get to know you."
She looked up at him then, and nodded. "Me too." She whispered.
Links to other sites on the Web
Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter,10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.