Blind Date 3/4 (PG-13)
She opened the door at his knock. The sight of him brought back the memory of last night’s kiss and she could feel her cheeks grow warm. It had only been one kiss and in the parking lot at that, when they’d picked up her car. That was probably a good thing. If he did everything else as well as he kissed, she wouldn’t have allowed him to leave her place - regardless of her declaration.
He was wearing another suit. Did he really own that many expensive suits or did his body just make the clothes look that good?
“Oh, hi. Come on in.” Her blush grew and she stepped aside to let him in.
“I’m fine.” She turned toward the living room.
He touched her arm, "Are you sure? Dana, if you've changed your mind, I can go." He motioned toward the door.
She looked up at him then, "I haven't changed my mind. Not at all. I . . . I'm very happy that you're here." She saw his shoulder relax and his eyes lighten.
"I brought your mother flowers. Is that . . . okay?"
"She'll be as charmed as I am."
He smiled then, but she could see that he was nervous. It was kind of strange how well she could read his face after just a couple of days, but it was true.
They both turned as a dark haired woman approached from the back of the house. She smiled at him and held out her hand. "You must be Fox."
"Mulder, Mom. Mulder, this is my mother, Maggie Scully."
He shook her hand, "Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Scully."
He nodded, "I, uh, thank you for having me over." He handed her the flowers he'd brought.
"They're lovely. That was very thoughtful. I'll put them in water, then join you. Dana, why don't you introduce Fox to your father." She smiled at Mulder, "I'll be back in a minute."
"It's Mulder." Dana muttered under her breath and he grinned at her.
"I don't think she's listening."
Dana rolled her eyes, "I can guarantee it. Come on, meet Ahab."
"My father. That's what I call him. Mulder, it's okay, he doesn't bite."
She smiled then and took his arm. An older man turned as they entered the living room. Mulder noted the close-cropped hair and the military bearing. There were some things she hadn't mentioned.
"Ahab, this is my friend, Fox Mulder. Mulder, this is my father, Captain William Scully." The older man held out his hand and Mulder shook it.
"Pleased to meet you, Sir."
"You too son. I like meeting my children's friends. It doesn’t happen often enough now that they’re grown. Have you met my wife?" He glanced over toward the door.
"Yes sir. She's in the kitchen."
"I'm not surprised. Things have to be perfect when our youngest daughter brings home a guest."
"Ahab." Dana's voice was low.
"What? I shouldn’t be honest with the young man?"
She rolled her eyes.
Maggie joined them almost immediately, announcing that lunch was ready and herded everyone that way.
They moved into the dining room where Mulder saw his flowers beautifully arranged on the sideboard. Mulder held the chair for Dana. He was grateful she was sitting beside him rather than across the table and wondered if that was her idea. He sat down and surveyed the food in front of him.
“Mrs. Sc . . . Maggie,” he changed at her look, “this is incredible.”
“You don’t get many home cooked meals?”
“No ma’am. I haven’t had a meal like this in years, literally.”
Both women looked at him surprised.
Captain Scully helped himself to some chicken, then passed the platter to Mulder.
“How long have you and Dana been seeing each other?”
“Ahab - “
“Actually, Dana and I met on Friday. She had some car problems after work. I was able to help out.”
Dana’s eyes twinkled, but she didn’t contradict him. This version would make things easier.
“You know, I met a William Mulder at the Pentagon several years ago.”
“That, uh that would be my father. He’s retired from the State Department.”
“Retired, huh. As I recall he was working on a special project. His security clearance was the highest I’d ever seen. Do you see him often?”
“No Sir, I haven’t seen him in several years.”
“Years?” Maggie spoke up. “Where does he live?”
“He has a house on Martha’s Vineyard.”
“That’s not that far.” Maggie commented.
“The physical distance isn’t the problem.” Mulder took the dish of broccoli casserole from her father.
Maggie absorbed that statement, “What about your mother?”
“She lives in Connecticut.”
Mulder nodded, “Since I was fourteen.”
“It was for the best.” He took a sip of tea.
“Are you an only child?” Maggie continued.
“Uh, no. I had a sister. She,” he swallowed and looked down at his plate, then faced the woman. “She went missing when she was eight. We, we never found her.”
He felt Dana’s hand come to rest lightly on his knee and the words didn’t hurt as bad.
Captain Scully picked up the conversation then, changing the subject as Maggie watched the young man. She didn’t exactly disbelieve his story, but it was difficult to believe they had met on Friday. The man was more than a little in love with Dana, and she hadn’t missed the subtle touch of the man’s leg when his sister was mentioned. Dana had already had that information, even though they had known each other for only two days.
The men had moved on to basketball now, so Maggie could observe them without drawing attention. Dana’s hand was back in sight, but their body language made them seem closer than they were. She needed to have a conversation with Dana. At least this Fox was younger than Jack Willis, and a great deal younger than that Dr. Waterston.
Dana had made . . . mistakes in her personal life. Okay, she was a grown woman, but Dana would always be her baby daughter. Her husband’s question caught her attention.
“How long have you been
at the Bureau, Mulder?”
“What made you decide to join?”
“Actually I was recruited, like Dana. I,” he glanced over at Dana, “I have my Ph.D. in psychology from Oxford. I guess they saw something they liked."
Dana’s smile was warming.
“What area do you work in Fox?” Maggie asked.
“I’m in Violent Crimes. I create profiles of criminals.”
“It’s my job to get inside of the heads of criminals, figure out what they’re thinking, how to track them, help the police determine who their next victim might be and get them off the street as soon as possible.”
The Captain spoke again, “Do you think it’s a good career for a woman, the Bureau?”
Dana looked down at her plate, shaking her head slightly. She had no control over this conversation.
Mulder glanced over at her and smiled slightly. “I don’t know, it could be hard on a woman. She’d have to be made of strong stuff. It’s still a boys club for the most part. But from my perspective, I like having a woman check out the scene of a crime. They, as a rule, see things differently than men. They pick up on the little details, the nuances of a room that men who have been doing this work for years could miss. Maybe it’s the fresh eye, but women seem to think differently, at least from me, and I need their insight.
“Since Dana has already battled her way through medical school and residency, I’d say she has the backbone needed. We haven’t worked on a case together, but I’m sure her input would be very valuable.”
The Captain and his wife exchanged glances. It was a different argument than the one Dana had given them, not that she needed their permission.
The rest of the meal was eaten mostly without Dana wanting to kick anyone under the table, and the two men seemed to get along even better than she had hoped.
“Mom, let me get that.”
“No. I’m sure you and Fox have plans for the afternoon. Your father can help me get the kitchen ship shape. Go on, really. Fox, I hope we see you again soon.”
“Thank you Maggie.”
“Yes, you come back, even if you are misguided enough to root for the Knicks.” Her father’s eyebrow was raised, but his eyes smiled.
“Yes Sir. I’ll try not to influence your daughter unduly.” He shook the older man's hand and they headed for their cars.
“I think it’s already too late to worry about his influence.” Maggie remarked to her husband as they returned to the dining room to clear the table.
Peter had parked a little to the side, waiting for her to return. His guilt over what he and Sheila had done, both the date and the sabotage had bothered him with growing intensity. Sheila was ticked at him, but he wanted to check on Dana, even if he didn’t ‘confess’.
He watched her pull into a space and get out of the car, but she didn’t move inside. Peter reached for the door handle; then stopped as he saw her face light up and she moved toward a car that had pulled in behind her.
As Peter sat watching, the long, lean body of Special Agent Fox Mulder emerged from the second car. It was the first time Peter had ever seen the man smile. Dana took his hand and led him toward the building. There was nothing icy about her now.
Shit! He ground the engine starting it and peeled out of the parking lot. Dana and Mulder turned at the noise. Dana's eyes widened and Mulder looked over at her. "What?"
"Let's go in. I want to change." He followed her into the apartment. "Make yourself at home. I'll be right out."
He nodded and watched her disappear into the bedroom. He moved to the window and stood looking out at the street. She was back quickly in navy tights and an over-sized navy and white sweater. Lounging clothes, his mind supplied, they weren't going anywhere.
She smiled at him, "You know, you could lose the tie and jacket."
"Oh, yeah." He slid off the jacket and she took it as he removed his tie. "Dana."
"That car, the one that raced out, was it Peter?"
She hesitated for a moment, "Yes."
"Is he stalking you now?"
"No. I . . . "
"He came over to check on you, because you'd been forced to spend time with me?"
"It's obvious he's interested."
"Well that makes one of us. Would you like some tea?"
"Sure." She wanted him to stay, he felt positively light headed at that.
She returned with two tall glasses of iced tea and motioned for him to join her on the couch. "I'd like to apologize for Maggie and Ahab."
"What? They were great, and I really haven't eaten like that since I can remember."
She shook her head, "We met Friday, when I had car trouble?" She grinned. "Ahab may have bought that, but Maggie . . . "
"She had her radar up about you. She was definitely in 'Super Mom' mode."
"What does that mean?"
"Come on, Profiler Par-excellence, you didn't get those vibes?"
"No, but then my mother's never met anyone I . . . "
"You've never taken a woman home?"
He shook his head, "It never crossed my mind. If it helps any, I've never met anyone's parents before either."
She blinked at that, no wonder he'd been nervous. She decided to switch gears. "The, uh, the game you and Ahab were bickering about comes on in a few minutes. Want to watch?"
"I'm not confident on the finer points of the game."
"Now there I can help you." He smiled.
She handed him the remote and made herself comfortable.
He answered the door with a scowl on his face. "What do you want?"
"Well, it's good to see you too." Sheila responded. "We were going to go over our notes, remember?" She waited a moment. "May I come in?"
Peter stepped aside with a sigh.
She dropped her bag on the chair and turned to look at him. "What's wrong?"
He hesitated, then faced her. "I should never have listened to you."
"Oh god, is this about Dana again? You cannot be feeling guilty about that. It was one date. I'm sure he knows she never even heard about the melting body and has retreated back to his coffin in the basement."
"Wrong again Sheila." He turned away from her, toward his kitchen.
"I was just over at her place." He didn't try to interpret the look on her face, but registered hurt and outrage at least. "She wasn't there when I arrived, so I waited. She showed up, followed immediately by Special Agent Fox Mulder. Let me tell you, she was no ice queen, in fact, ice was melting in at least a one block radius."
He jerked away, "I'm not up for company right now."
"Company. Right, I'll get out of your way." She grabbed up her bag. He didn't try to stop her. By the time she'd made it to her car, her fury had taken over. What was with that redhead? She wasn't that attractive, and her personality - she was so damn rigid. Okay, she'd been top of her class in medical school. Sheila knew what that meant, she'd been one of two females in her own class, but still. Dana had that weird undergraduate degree too. Physics? Not biology or chemistry. What was with that?
So what about the bitch attracted men? Jack, Peter, that older doctor - yes, she'd heard about that, and now someone with a loner from hell reputation like Fox Mulder. It made no sense!
Well, she might have the brains, but Sheila had the smarts. She’d had to, to get where she was. She needed Peter. Okay, she’d underestimated his feelings for Dana. It hadn’t occurred to her that he cared about the redhead. But it could be fixed.
She stretched, waking and felt his arm around her. "Oh my god. Mulder, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to fall asleep."
"My stimulating personality?"
"No." She smiled shyly. "I had trouble getting to sleep last night. And I guess basketball doesn't really . . . " She sat up fully then, and he released her reluctantly. "Did you win?"
"Yeah. Oh, you mean the game, yes, in overtime."
She blushed at that. What had gotten into her, falling asleep with a man who should be nearly a stranger considering how long she had known him.
"Maybe I should go."
"Do you have to? I'm a lot better company awake."
He smiled, remembering the feel of her of her against him, relaxed, trusting him.
"What? Did I snore?"
"No, not at all. Why, uh, why did you have trouble sleeping?"
The color in her face grew and his eyes widened. Him? Thoughts of him had kept her awake? And she'd just asked him to stay. He leaned forward and she met him, their lips meeting, tongues exploring.
When they fell back, both gasping for air, they just looked at one another for a long moment. It was better than last night's goodbye kiss. A lot better.
"I came so close to doing that in the restaurant last night."
"I know. If I'd had my gun, I'd have winged Mr. Tai."
He gaped at her, "I had the same thought."
She smiled. "I know."
"Who are you?"
"I'm not sure when I'm with you."
He blinked then, "Is that good or bad?"
She managed to smile, "I don't know."
"I'd like to find out." He leaned in to kiss her again.
He tossed his keys on the table and shed his coat. It had been hard leaving her tonight. It was the right thing to do, he knew that. Ignore the fact that she fit into his arms, against his body, as though created to be there. Her lips fit his so damn perfectly. It was too quick; no one had ever gotten to him the way she had. They had spent a comfortable afternoon and evening, shared a pizza, and he had gotten out of there. If he'd stayed . . . well, it would have been . . . premature. It would have been incredible, but rash.
God, he wanted to hear her voice. He made his way to the bathroom and changed into his pajamas bottoms and a t-shirt. He sat on the couch and reached for the remote. Instead he picked up the phone and dialed without hesitation.
"Hi. Is this dumb?"
He could actually feel the smile before she spoke. "No, not dumb. I was . . . I was lying here hoping you would call."
Lying there. That brought up a hell of a visual and he felt his groin tighten.
"Yeah." His voice sounded deeper to her. "You know it's a good thing I left."
"Yes, it was."
"Listen, I don't know what I'll be working on next week, but if I'm in town, do you think I could give you a call?"
"Yes. You know, you could call even if you're out of town."
He grinned. "I think I'll do that. I should let you get some sleep. Good night Dana."
He put the phone down and stretched out. His hand cupped himself and his thumb moved over his semi-erect cock through the fabric of his pajamas. The phone ringing caused him to jerk his hand away. Was she calling him back?
There was silence for a long moment.
"Is anyone there?" Dana wouldn't -
"She's not what you think."
"She's not the woman you think she is. You shouldn't trust her."
Sheila? Was this the best she could come up with? How the hell had she gotten into the Bureau in the first place? "Are you talking about Dana?"
"She didn't get to the top of her class using her brains. It was a different part of her anatomy."
"Are you saying she slept her way to the top?"
"She was involved with at least one of her instructors at the academy, and a doctor during her residency. She uses people."
"That sounds pretty harsh. How did you find out?"
"I checked around."
"To protect me? Do I . . . do I know you?" He had slipped into his 'Marty' voice. He could feel her hesitation. "Please, why are you looking out for me?"
"I . . . I didn't, I didn't want her to hurt you." The question, the tone had thrown her, he could feel it.
"Why? Why do you care about me? Tell me I know you."
"No, no we don't . . . I mean - "
"Could we meet?"
"Why? I mean . . . "
"What's your name? Please." Damn, he was good. No wonder Chantal seemed to enjoy their phone time as much as he had, just as long as he wasn't himself he did great with women. Too bad he was so damn tired of not being himself. What he had told Dana was true, she was the only person whose opinion mattered.
"I . . . I don't know."
"A name, just your first name then. Please, don't go away." He had her off balance. She hadn’t expected him to come on to her. This was good.
"Sh . . . Sheila."
"Sheila. Can I meet you?"
"No. I should go."
"Will you call again?"
"I . . . I don't know."
"Please, Sheila. If you care enough about me to . . . please."
"I'll see. I have to . . . good night." She broke the connection.
What was the woman's problem? Why was she so determined to hurt Dana? His desire to relieve himself gone, he dialed another number. "Danny, it's Mulder. When you get this, could you do me a favor? I need a background check on a Sheila Lewis. She's at the academy and I want to know how she got there and if she's really qualified. While you're at it, check on Peter Doud as well. Give me a call and thanks."
He sank back down onto the couch and closed his eyes. Maybe if he could profile this woman, he could get her to leave Dana alone. He’d find Danny first thing when he got in tomorrow.