All Hallow's Eve (PG)

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He stepped out of the elevator just behind her, heading toward the parking garage.  "Hey Spooky!  Thought you'd be out of here early tonight.  Isn't this your 'special' night?"  The agent and those around him laughed.


Mulder was silent, controlling the wince to the best of his ability.  It was bad enough that they were after him.  He wished futilely that it hadn't been in front of her.  He still didn't know exactly how he felt about having to work with her, but she seemed to almost respect him and they had worked pretty well together for the most part.


She'd never called him Spooky, to his face at least, and  . . . shit.  She had turned to look up at him.  She didn't say anything but seemed to move closer as though, as though protecting him.  No, that was him projecting, or wishing maybe.


He pushed the door open for her and held it.  She looked up again and moved out.  The sound of the agents' laughter followed them out.


She stopped once the door had fallen closed behind them.  He stopped beside her and tried to smile.  He was pretty sure he'd failed.  "Plans tonight, Mulder?"


"Uh, no."


"Just giving out candy to the trick or treaters?"


"What?  Oh, uh no.  I don't indulge.  I'll probably just leave the light off and turn the TV down really low."


"Well, if you're not busy, would you like some left over lasagna with me?"


He blinked, taken aback.  Was this a legitimate offer or did she think he needed protecting after all?  "Uh, I don't want to bother - "


"It wouldn't be a bother, I'd appreciate it.  We don't often have that much time to just talk at work and, well, there's lots of questions I'd like to ask you about the X-Files and . . . " she shrugged.


She looked sincere and he believed there were lots of questions she wanted to ask.  They hadn't 'talked' since that night in Bellefleur.  He hadn't been avoiding it, not really.  She was waiting for an answer and the one he wanted to give came out.  "Sure, that's probably a good idea."


Her smile stunned him.  People at the Bureau didn't smile at him, not like that anyway.  Usually it was more like the jackass that had harassed him on the way out the door.  "You know the way? Oh, of course you do."


"Yeah, remember, I'm the one that broke down your door a few weeks ago," he gave her that sideways grin she was really beginning to appreciate.


"Yes, I do remember.  I haven't thanked you enough for that."


Again he was surprised.  "You're my partner."


"Yes, I am."  Her voice was definite, resolved.  "Do you need to go by your place first?"


"Uh, no.  I can follow you."


"Good.  See you there."  She turned away and he watched her walk toward her car.  For just an instant that spy thing came to him again, but he shoved it aside for now.  Homemade lasagna would be an improvement over anything he could order in.


He was caught by a stoplight so she was already inside when he arrived and parked.  She answered his knock with a smile.  "Thanks for not kicking it down again."


"If the lasagna had already been hot I might have," he grinned and she rolled her eyes.


He spotted the bowl of candy by the door.  "You going to eat all that?"


"It's for the trick or treaters, remember?"


"So you do indulge."


"I enjoy it.  We had such fun trick or treating when we were kids.  Bill took us around to the houses on the bases.  Mom had to stay home to answer the door and Ahab was at sea a lot of the time."  She smiled at some memory and he watched, mesmerized.  "We got tons of candy, way more than Mom would ever let us eat, so when we got home we'd go through it and take out the stuff we didn't like and Mom would give that out to the late arrivals."


"You recycled it?" he sounded more amused than anything else.


"Yes.  It was expensive to buy enough candy for all the kids on the base."


"It's a good idea."


"Didn't you dress up and go out as a kid?"


His smile faltered.  "It was one of the last things Samantha and I did.  I never went out again.  We turned off the light after that and hid in the dark."


"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to - "


"No, hey, I'm sorry.  Didn't mean to bring the party down."


Her hand squeezed his wrist.  "I'll heat up the lasagna."


"Need any help?  I promise not to try to cook."


She chuckled at that and led him into the kitchen.  She handed him the bottle of wine and pointed to the drawer that held the corkscrew.  He opened the wine and poured them both a glass while she put the pan of lasagna into the oven.


She was reaching for her glass when the doorbell rang.  "And it starts," she grinned and put the glass back on the counter.  She headed for the door and Mulder followed at a distance.  She opened the door and he saw a princess and a cowboy both holding plastic pumpkins.  Scully was complimenting their costumes as she dropped a couple of miniature candy bars into the pumpkins. 


She turned to grin at him when she closed the door.  "See that's not so hard."


He shrugged and handed her the wine glass.  "I guess not.  Just got out of the habit a long time ago."


"What were you?  I mean, what did you dress up as?"


"Vampire.  I slicked my hair back and had a black cape and plastic fangs."


"I'm sure you were devastatingly elegant."


He chuckled at that.  "Not really, hadn't grown into the nose yet.  What about you, a princess or a ballerina, right?"


"Mulder," her voice dripped with scorn, "do I look like some kind of girly girl to you?"


"Oops," he held up his hands in defense.  "Never."


"Good.  I'd hate to have to hurt you."  They were interrupted then with another ring of the doorbell and the flow became pretty steady at that point. 


When the timer on the oven went off, she handed him the bowl.  "Think you can handle this for a minute?  I'll be in ear shot."


His eyes narrowed but he took the candy bowl from her.  "I think I can hold down the fort for a minute or two."


Chuckling she left him and didn't look back when the doorbell rang again.  The Ninja Turtle and Little Mermaid that greeted him looked up and up.  "Uh, is Dr. Scully home?"


"She's fixing dinner."  He dropped candy into their bags.


"Uh, well, tell her thank you."


"Will do."  They turned to leave and he saw others approaching.


When she returned, he didn't relinquish the bowl, taking a piece for himself.  "A couple of kids said to tell Dr. Scully thank you."


"Did you get their names?"


He shook his head, "Michelangelo and Ariel?  She wasn't a real redhead."


Scully laughed out loud at that and he stood looking down at her stunned.  No, this woman was no spy.  She was his partner, and, and maybe becoming his friend.  It felt good.




Author's Note:  Went back to the beginning of a budding relationship to thank Carol, my incredible beta and wish her a Very Very Happy Birthday!!




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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.