Only For You (PG-13)

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Okay, he’d scoped the perimeter and knew which entrance he wanted to use.  He knew the pattern of traffic; there was nothing more he could learn sitting here.  Taking a deep breath he exited the car.  He wanted the protection of his gun, but he couldn’t draw it, not here.


He had to do this, it was for Scully.  Squaring his shoulders he headed into the mall.  The noise and the crowds seemed to assault him when he pushed into the entry.  He hated these places.  He would only do it for Scully.


They had agreed early on not to get each other gifts for Christmas but he wanted to do something.  Things were different with them now, better and . . . closer.  Oh, she’d probably still race in the opposite direction if he declared himself, and he had no intention of going quite that far but he . . . hell, wanted to get her something.


Now all he needed was inspiration.  He hesitated looking around.  Shit, he should have thought about this before, but then he might have talked himself out of coming here at all.  Come on, he’d been in worse situations than this, probably.


For no better reason than there was a break in traffic, he turned left and headed into the fray.  He glanced at the Disney Store; no way would he attempt that and it wasn’t really Scully’s style anyway.  Shoes?  Did people buy other people shoes?  Yes, he knew her size but he was fairly sure their taste wasn’t the same there.  He actually hesitated outside of Victoria’s Secret, but shook his head and moved on.  She’d kill him if he bought her underwear, okay lingerie, and he’d get even less work done, wondering if she was wearing it.


The crowd was leading him into one of the anchor department stores.  A young woman zeroed in on him to spritz him with perfume.  Perfume?  No, Scully’s own scent was much more to his taste.  He managed to get around her and ducked into the housewares area.  Towels?  No, definitely not personal enough.  Sheets?  Not if he couldn’t share them, though that thought did cause a lightening to his eyes.


The ride up the escalator found him in women’s clothing.  He could get her a sweater or something, even an outfit.  He knew what he’d like to see on her but again she’d probably kill him.  He’d go for more cleavage and definitely not black.  Of course, she seemed to like black.  Shaking his head he returned to the first floor and back out into the mall.


Walking down the corridor he looked at the stores he was passing - clothes predominated, especially clothes for teenage girls.  He’d seen more clothing on the women he passed on the corners some nights.  Probably a good idea he didn’t have a teenage daughter.  Brookstone?  No, getting her some electronic gadget wasn’t what he wanted.  Something more personal but not too personal.  Oh yeah, this was as much fun as he’d thought it would be.


There was a crowd around the front of the pet store.  Puppies were yipping up at the kids who were drooling with want over their cuteness.  He could replace Queequeg.  At least these little mongrels hadn’t chewed on their owner.  Yeah, right.  No dogs.


He’d never realized how many children’s clothing stores these places had.  He could see Emily in some of these outfits.  Did Scully see that when she looked at places like this?  Of course she didn’t spend a lot of time in places like this either, maybe that was one of the reasons.


He looked toward the kiosk in front of the store.  Yeah, he could get her a beef stick.  He grinned to himself at the innuendo and moved on.  Oh yeah, he could get her a personalized plate for her car; something like ‘Trustno1’.  Except that was him and he didn’t want anyone to know he felt that way either.


What else was here?  A book store?  What, a book of poetry?  No, he’d read enough poetry during his school years; most of it not to his liking.  He wouldn’t want to subject her to that.


Damn was this a wasted trip?  There were over two hundred stores and he -

He stopped abruptly when he saw the jewelry store.  The man behind him made a decidedly unChristmas-like comment as he shoved past him.  Mulder ignored it and moved toward the store.  If he were honest with himself, really honest, he’d admit this had been on his mind all along.


A young man in a suit looked up as he approached the counter.  He looked Mulder up and down discretely and smiled.  Mulder realized he’d taken in a great deal of information with that look.  Mulder felt like a perp under the scrutiny of a profiler.  Bad analogy, he wasn’t guilty of anything.


“We have some quite spectacular solitaire engagement rings over here.”  He moved toward the rings and Mulder followed as though compelled.  The man already had a black velvet cloth lying on the counter and was pulling out a tray of rings.


Mulder’s eye was caught by a large stone in the center of the tray, but he forced his attention away.  “Uh, no.  I’m not here for a ring.”


The man gave him a slight smile that said ‘are you sure?’ though he didn’t actually say it out loud.


“She, uh, she’s just a friend.”


“I see,” the young man said just waiting.


“Do you have anything like that?” Mulder fumbled over the words.  Damn, he felt like he was 14, asking out a girl for the first time and knowing she knew too much about him anyway.


“Of course.  We have some lovely tennis bracelets and broaches.”  He moved to another part of the glittering counter.


A broach?  Scully didn’t wear those or bracelets.  Well, she didn’t wear them at work and that’s where he saw her the most.


“I also have some very nice earrings.  Does your friend have pierced ears?”


Now that sounded better and yes, she did have pierced ears.  He followed the man to yet another section and looked at the display.  He saw them immediately, exactly what he wanted, he just hadn’t known.  He pointed and the man pulled out the tray.


“You have very good taste.”


“Yeah, thanks.  How much?”


“Diamond and platinum, finest quality.”  He turned the tag over, “$1300.”


Well, he did have good taste apparently, but since this was the only gift he had to buy this year, oh a leak of some sort of information to Langly, Byers’ favorite wine and a bottle of single malt for Frohike, and maybe a poinsettia for Mrs. Scully, but the people he needed to remember had grown smaller over the years.  And they were beautiful.


“I’ll take them.”


The young man smiled and seemed warmer immediately.  “She’s going to love them.  May I gift wrap them for you?”


“Sure, thanks.”  He pulled out his credit card.




He tapped on the door and waited.  It didn’t take long.  “Hi, Mulder.  Come on in.”  He did, smiling.  It smelled good in here, better than usual.  “Dinner’s almost ready, why don’t you open the wine.”


“Wine?  Nice.”


“It’s a holiday, Mulder.”


“Oh, is that what all those pine needles are about.”  He looked over at her tree.  He didn’t have one, he’d never had one, but it was okay.  She shared this one with him and that made it better.


They settled down to eat, discussing her plans for the next day.  She would be going over to her mother’s for Christmas morning.  He’d thought she would go to midnight mass with her tonight, but instead she had invited him over.  He wasn’t going to complain.  The boys couldn’t come in this year so it would just be the two of them in the morning, then Maggie would be flying out to Cincinnati the next day to see Charlie and his family. 


He was going over to see the guys Christmas afternoon and watch some football.


They took dessert into her living room and he poured more wine.  How civilized he was becoming because of her.


“Want to watch a movie?  I have the classics ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’ with George C. Scott.”


“Not ‘Plan Nine’?” he teased.  “Either is fine, but first I wanted to give you something.”


“Mulder!  We said no gifts.”


“So, sue me.  I saw something and decided . . . “ he shrugged.


She blinked as he pulled the small jewelry box from his pocket.  It was too big for a ring box she realized when she got her breath back.  She was relieved at that, really.


“Mulder, you - “


“Open it,” he urged her, anxious for her reaction.


She tried to steady her hands, but they did tremble slightly as she unwrapped the small box.  Her gasp was all he needed.  The diamond earrings, in the shape of an “X” twinkled up at her, the double meaning flowing over her.  For them the X-files, but also the symbol for a kiss.


He watched her, waiting.  “They, they’re perfect.”  Had she ever seen him smile like that?  “I don’t have any mistletoe, but do you suppose I could return the gesture?”


“Yeah, yeah I suppose you could.”  Now this could be a Christmas Eve for the record books, he thought as she came into his arms.



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