She let herself into her apartment. She had hoped being home would make her feel better. She should have known. It was so lonely here, and had gotten worse over the last several months. She laid her laptop on her desk and wandered into the kitchen. She opened the refrigerator - nothing interested her. Her appetite had been gone for ages but she usually found something. Not tonight. She just couldn't force herself to swallow something tonight.
She turned back to the living room, pulling her blouse out from her skirt. She kicked off her shoes and removed her pantyhose. Her eyes settled on the cabinet beneath her TV. Why not?
The cabinet opened to reveal the bottle of scotch she'd bought a couple of days ago. She didn't really like scotch but it had caught her eye. What the hell, it didn't matter if she drank; no one would see or care.
The glass took no time to find and fill with ice and even less time to fill with scotch. She added no mixer. If her purpose was to get drunk, why dilute it?
Half way through her second drink, she shed her skirt and unbuttoned her blouse. While she was struggling with the skirt her phone rang. She rose and kicked the skirt under the chair, stubbing her toe. "Shit!" Tears came to her eyes and she limped to the phone.
"Scully? Scully, are you okay?" What had happened? She'd been fine when they left work.
"I stubbed my fuckin' toe. What do you want?" Her voice was slurred and she hardly ever cursed.
"Scully, did you take anything?" This wasn't like her.
"Course not. Whatja want?" He was no help and now he was interrupting her.
"There's some, um, papers I need you to sign. Are you going to be home?"
"Where the hell else would I be? Shit." She slammed the phone down.
Shit was right. He checked his pocket for his keys and grabbed his jacket. What had happened?
She didn't respond to his knock so he slipped the key in the lock and let himself in. He stopped just inside the door, listening. Nothing. Then he spotted red hair over the arm of the couch.
"Scully? Scully, can you hear...?" Then he saw the scotch bottle peeking from under the couch where it had rolled when she dropped it. It was empty and the rug wasn't wet. He had never seen scotch here before - maybe an occasional bottle of wine, but never scotch whiskey.
"Wake up, Scully." You know, he never thought about how tiny she was most of the time. She always held her own. Should he be worried about alcohol poisoning? And had she ever done this before?
He better get her in bed, let her sleep it off. He pulled the afghan off her to lift her. Oh God, panties. Her blouse was on but only the panties below her waist. Lavender. He was in big trouble.
Well, he could just leave the afghan over her and move her. He started to lift her when her blouse fell open. He hadn't realized it was unbuttoned and her bra was unfastened... from the front. He wasn't as familiar with this design. Could he fasten it back without...? No, he wasn't even going to try.
He went into her bedroom and found a t-shirt. He brought it back and gingerly removed the blouse and then the bra. His hand accidentally brushed her nipple which immediately hardened to a little bud. It was an accident; he'd swear to it; but if she woke up now, armed, she wouldn't be aiming at his shoulder. There was another, more prominent place to aim.
He lifted her to carry her to her room and just sighed when the afghan slipped off her half way there. He was dead meat regardless. he'd get her in the bed and then wouldn't touch her again - not for years - he couldn't handle it.
He tucked her in and retreated to the living room. He straightened up the room, locating her skirt and panty hose. he folded them over the back of a chair, along with the bra and blouse. The bra was the same lavender as the...gees.
He sank onto the couch. What the hell had happened? What had caused her to drink an entire bottle of scotch? He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen her have a mixed drink. She'd been quiet lately, a little more withdrawn but he hadn't seen this coming.
He fixed himself a sandwich and turned on the TV, finally locating an old movie he could watch.
He hadn't realized he'd drifted off until he heard her stumble toward the bathroom. He stopped outside the door, listening to her retch. What should he do?
Finally he tapped on the door. "Scully? Are you okay?" He opened the door to see her sitting on the floor, her back against the tub. He wet a cloth and knelt next to her to wipe her face.
"Go away. You're not really here and I'm tired of dreaming about you."
"Scully? I am here."
"No you're not. You're never really here. No one's ever here. It could have been a home. I could have had a daughter, a family. But there's no one here. I could have a dozen children and I'll never know. I'm just here alone, unless I dream you up. I don't want dreams, I need...oh God, I need." She was sobbing, she curled into herself on the floor. She was crying so hard that she couldn't get her breath.
Mulder was devastated. How could he have missed this? Why had he let her keep this pain from him? He pulled her into his lap and sat rocking her on the bathroom floor. When she had cried herself out, she rose and made her way to the sink where she washed her face and brushed her teeth. She was almost out the door when he spoke.
She turned and looked at him. "God, I wish you were really here, that you could really love me." She turned away and climbed into her bed.
He stood, rooted to the spot. She didn't know? She didn't realize how much he loved her? He always thought it was emblazoned across his forehead. He had always kept it light with her - fear of rejection mostly - but he thought she knew and just wasn't interested. Not in him.
He made sure she was asleep and headed back to the couch. He sank down on it and stared into nothing. Emily. She was still grieving for Emily. He knew that but he kept pushing it away. and she'd needed him. She needed his love and support and he'd been blind to it. she was always there for him, no matter what foolish thing he'd done or what kind of asshole he'd made of himself. She was there and he accepted it like it was his due. Could he be more self-centered? She hadn't even known he loved her.
Something had to change and it was going to start with him. She wasn't going to be drinking alone again if he had anything to say about it. Now he had to figure out how to make it happen.
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter,10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.