Dana ran upstairs to grab a sweater. They had gone to late Mass so that they wouldn’t have to rush in the morning. She was a little surprised that her mother had gone along with that plan, but with three young boys, she had caved.
Scully glanced over at her bag and decided to check her cell phone. She hadn’t even turned it on since she got here.
She hit power and saw the message light blink on. She glanced at the door, then decided to check. Feeding in the code, she walked to the door and pushed it closed.
“You have 25 messages.”
Her eyes widened, twenty-five? It only held twenty-five. She quickly pulled up the first message.
“Hey Scully, where are you? Give me a call.” Mulder, she should have expected that.
The second was much the same, “It’s me. Uh, call when you get in.”
By the sixth message, his tone was harsher. “Scully . . . are you alright? I know you’re not home. Please call me.” She knew he’d gone to her place, to check on her.
The last three he didn’t speak at all, as though just listening to her message. What in the world? He’d had plans this weekend too.
Immediately she dialed his apartment. “Scully.” He spoke before she could.
“Yes, Mulder, what’s - “
“Are you all right? Where are you?” Fear was evident in his voice.
“Mulder, I’m in Ohio. I’m fine.”
There was a hesitation, “Ohio?”
“Yes, at Charlie’s.”
“Charlie’s.” His voice was quieter now, but his tone was . . . guarded.
“I thought you had plans Mulder, so I just flew up for a quick weekend.”
He didn’t respond and it was making her nervous, guilty even.
“Mom asked me, Bill’s fam - “
“Uh, yes.” She hadn’t meant to say that.
“Well, I didn’t mean to interrupt your family time.” His voice was distant now, cool.
“Mulder, you didn’t interrupt anything. I’m sorry I worried - “
“I need to go, there’s someone at the door. I’ll see you at work.”
She was staring at her phone now. He’d hung up. Startled, she pressed redial. The busy signal droned in her ear. She waited a moment and tried again. Still busy, had he taken the phone off the hook?
Scully sank onto the bed, shaken. What had happened? Okay, she hadn’t told him she was coming, but he was supposed to be out of town. She needed to get home.
Scully threw her clothes into her suitcase, then headed downstairs. No one was in the living room, so she hid the suitcase behind the couch and joined the family on the deck.
“Dana, I was getting ready to come look for you.” Her mother said as Charlie handed her a glass of wine.
“Thanks, uh, listen, I’m sorry, but I need to get back to DC.”
“Oh Dana, we’re leaving tomorrow afternoon.” Her mother looked over at her.
“Mulder.” Bill made the word sound as though he was swearing. “That SOB can’t stand it, can he? You’re away from his freak show, having your own life, so he - “
“It wasn’t Mulder. My boss, AD Kersh left me a message. There’s a case I need to check.” Okay, she was lying, but she didn’t want to get into a fight with Bill.
“It can’t wait until tomorrow?” Her mother asked.
“I’m sorry, Mom.” She shook her head.
Bill’s eyes were narrowed, he knew she wasn’t being completely honest. Had this Kersh guy called? Scully turned away to call for a cab.
“Kersh, huh? What, did Mulder get him to call?”
Scully met his eyes then, “I’d like to see that; Kersh doing anything Mulder asked of him.” She turned her back on him and moved to the door. Charlie threw a disgusted look at Bill, then followed her in.
“Dana.” He touched her arm and she stopped. “I’m sorry you have to go, but don’t let Bill spoil the whole trip for you.”
Scully sighed, “He doesn’t have to have that attitude.”
“No, he doesn’t, but he does love you. He thinks Mulder has cost you too much.”
“He hasn’t.” She spoke quietly.
Charlie watched her until she dropped her eyes. He sighed then, “Tell Mulder hi for me, okay?”
She didn’t look up, just walked to the phone.
There was room on the red-eye; there normally was. She had her usual hard time relaxing on the plane and knew she looked like she felt. Instead of heading straight for Mulder’s apartment, she decided to go home first.
She showered and changed, then headed to Alexandria. Her knock on the door brought no response. After a second attempt, she used her own key to enter.
He wasn’t there. She looked around; the place was messier than usual. It was as though he’d trashed the place, then picked up enough to walk around.
She settled in to wait. It wasn’t long. He let himself in, jerking his t-shirt over his head and mopping his sweat. He’d obviously run hard.
He stopped dead when she stood. For an instant the look in his eyes was relief, but he masked it quickly.
He just looked at her.
She swallowed, “You’re angry? Mulder, I just went to see Charlie. You said you were going to Raleigh for the weekend.”
“I mentioned going to Raleigh.” He finally spoke, “You didn’t seem interested, so I shelved it.”
“I . . . I didn’t realize I was included.”
His eyes bored into her. “I don’t ditch you any more, remember?”
“I . . . Mulder, I’m sorry. I didn’t . . . “
“Didn’t what, Scully? Didn’t want to tell me you were going to see your family? Didn’t want me to be in the way? Heaven knows you wouldn’t want to include me. What would Bill think?”
“Mulder, no. I - “
“Yeah, we can’t let the family know you’ve sunk to boinking Spooky, right?”
Her mouth dropped open, horrified. She’d had no idea her actions would hurt him like that.
“Mulder, please. I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt - “
“I need a shower, Scully. Why don’t you head on home.” He turned and opened the door for her. He wasn’t throwing her out? He . . . he wanted to get rid of her?
“Mulder - “
“I think we could use the time apart, right? I mean that’s what you wanted.”
“No it isn’t. Please, listen to me Mulder.” She moved toward him, but he stepped back, keeping the distance.
“Not now. I’d like you to go.” His voice was flat, dull. She opened her mouth, but he’d turned away. Tears pricked her eyes, but she looked down at her shoes. After a long moment, she moved toward the door with heavy feet.
Mulder shut the door behind her without another word. She couldn’t walk, reaching out to the wall for support. He had asked her to leave his apartment. She’d never felt that kind of distance from him, not even at their worst.
She forced herself upright and made it to her car. When she pulled into a space at her apartment complex, she realized she’d driven home on auto pilot, with no memory of the trip.
She let herself into the apartment and stood just inside the door, hopeless.
He closed the door behind her, purposely not watching her walk away. He couldn’t think about her, not yet. He needed a shower.
But his feet took him to the couch, where he collapsed and let his face fall into the damp t-shirt, dampening it more with his tears.
Finally she forced herself to move. She needed something mundane to do, something to occupy her mind. She moved toward her bedroom to unpack, she could do laundry.
She lifted her suitcase onto the bed and pulled out her dirty clothes, sorting them automatically. She’d do the delicates first. That took more attention.
She had closed the lid of the washer when she heard the phone ring. She raced to the living room and spotted his number on her caller ID.
He didn’t speak.
“Mulder, please. We have to talk. I can be back over there in a few minutes.” Still silence. “Mulder, ple - “
The phone went dead in her ear. She sank onto the couch and pressed her face into the pillow. Lying there, she cried herself to sleep.
She woke to the sight of Mulder, sitting on her coffee table, watching her. She knew what she must look like, hair sleep mussed, red eyes, dried tears on her cheek. She didn’t care. She threw herself at him, her arms around his neck.
His hands came up to her waist to steady her, but she couldn’t call it an embrace.
She moved closer, pressing her nose into the sensitive area behind his ear. “I love you. Mulder, I’m in love with you.”
He drew back, not releasing her.
“Did you hear me, Mulder?”
“Yeah. Why are you saying it now?”
“Because I realized I hadn’t said it, and how much not saying it hurt you.”
He was silent, waiting.
“You want me to tell Bill about us? Fine.” She pulled away from him and moved toward her phone. He just watched as she picked up the receiver.
She dialed a number and his brow furrowed. “Scully?”
She held up a finger for him to wait. “Charlie? Hi.” She moved so that Mulder could hear both sides of the conversation.
“Dana, you got there okay?”
“Yes, I got in a while ago. Listen, there’s something I need to tell you, then I want you to put Bill on the line.”
“Dana? You okay?”
“I’m fine, Charlie, but this is important.” She met Mulder’s eyes. “I’m in love with Fox Mulder.”
“Well duh, Dana. Is that supposed to be some sort of secret? Sis, you should stand in front of a mirror sometime when you say his name. Your whole body lights up.”
Mulder’s lips parted in surprise. Scully’s smile grew.
“I light up?”
“Big time. Though I have to say, I’m a little surprised you said it out loud.”
“Hey, I’ve known you a long time, Sis. You don’t commit easily. I think part of you still thinks we’ll be pulling up stakes to move to another base any minute.”
She looked away for an instant, then met Mulder’s eyes again. “Not this time.”
“About time you realized it, Sis. This, uh, this wasn’t what you were going to tell Bill, is it?”
“Yes. It’s time I said it to him.”
“Oh, gee thanks, Dana. Tell him while he’s at my house; let me clean up the mess.”
“He needs to know.” She said quietly.
“He already knows. Why do you think he’s such a prick? He’s terrified you’re going to marry the guy and he’ll never be rid of him.”
“I’m sorry Charlie, but I - “
“No, Scully. Let it go. Don’t ruin their evening.” Mulder put his hand on her arm.
“Mulder, it’s - “
“It’s okay. Hang up the phone."
“Dana, is Mulder there?” Charlie spoke in her ear.
“Just be with him. You can drop the bomb on Bill some other time. That way both of you will have good evenings, and I won’t have to put up with him. A win-win-win, okay?”
“Nite, Dana.” She heard his voice just before she disconnected the call. She was watching Mulder.
Neither spoke for a long moment, then her hand came out, as though asking for permission to touch him. He took her hand in his, not smiling.
“I’m in love with you, Mulder. If you want me to sky write it over the Hoover Building, I will.
He tugged her to him and her arms went around his waist. His mouth took possession of hers. When they broke for air, she whispered, “Bedroom.”
“Too far.” He pulled her down to the carpet with him.
Skinner had gone. She was alone now, no, not alone. Her miracle was here with her. She thought back to that night in her apartment. That’s when she had conceived. Somehow she knew that. When she had finally admitted to herself that she was totally committed to the man, she had conceived their child. Now she had to find him, let him know.
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.