He let himself into the dark, lonely apartment. His mood had sunk all the way home and he was near rock bottom now. Damn, he hated weekends. He tossed his coat over the back of a chair and loosened his tie.
And this case they'd just wrapped up had been an absolute bust. That wasn't helping his mood at all. The guys were out of town at some paranoids meeting; not that he especially wanted to spend a weekend with them.
Scully had said she had plans. He sighed; he wished she hadn't told him. Of course, it might be with her mother. There was nothing wrong with that. She should spend time with her mother. He wasn't about to admit that her plans were the reason for his mood.
He made his way toward the refrigerator. Damn, there wasn't even a beer. That's right, the Chinese he'd eaten last night had been questionable. Now the only thing in there was some mold growing on something he'd spilled a few months, or years, ago.
Maybe she was getting together with some friends. She'd certainly not want to include him in something like that. He'd only embarrass her, like he did every day at work with his mere presence.
He sighed again, why didn't he drop this? It's not like they spent their weekends together when they were in town.
Why the hell had she even told him? He couldn't even fantasize that she would show up or call and invite him over.
Was he hungry enough to go out and get something? Hell, it didn't matter. He wanted out of here. He gave changing out of his suit a moment's thought, but shrugged it off. Out, just go somewhere.
He grabbed his jacket, felt for the keys and let himself out of the apartment. He took the stairs, to work off energy. He pulled into traffic and turned toward a bar he'd frequented in the past.
He decided against food, ordering a beer instead. He looked around; the place was crowded. No surprise there, it was a Friday night. The problem was, he didn't want a crowd. This was a mistake. He left the beer half finished and made his way to the door. He didn't notice the looks the women were giving him, because he didn't bother to look up.
He wasn't anxious to go home, but where else could he go? A sign caught his eye and he pulled into a parking lot. He went inside the package store and emerged a couple of minutes later with a fifth of Scotch and a six pack.
With these reinforcements, he returned to his apartment. The fact that he was being stupid was brushed aside. At least he wouldn't be a danger on the roads.
Three or four shots later, he still felt sober, but his imagination had switched on. Plans. What kind of plans? Hell, it was a date. It had to be a date - a beautiful woman like that. The damn deputy on the case they'd just returned from had drooled whenever she passed by. What man didn't? He slammed the beer down on the table sloshing some over his hand.
If she had a date, why not tell him? Because it was none of his business, damn it! But it should be! Shit! They spent their days together, they traveled together, they'd even slept together - not sex, never sex with him. But they had slept together - in the woods in Florida, in Kansas . . .
This was her fault. She wanted to keep this damn distance between them. Hell, he was forty years old and mooning over a woman as though he was a teenager. There were other women; there had been other women - just not lately.
That was her fault too. She flitted around him, showing her body, smelling of Scully. Okay, she wore those severe clothes, but that only made looking more . . . fuck.
He poured himself another shot. That ice queen facade served her so well. She'd kept him dangling for years. She'd lead him to believe they were growing close, then back away again. Maybe she was just a tease. Maybe she enjoyed keeping him dangling like this. Maybe she did it on purpose. She had to know the effect she had on men, on him.
He didn't remember picking up the phone, but it was in his hand. The speed dial was already inputing her number. After a couple of rings he heard the machine pick up and tossed the phone onto the coffee table.
She let herself into the apartment, smiling. She'd needed this; her hair styled, her nails done. She'd even splurged and gotten a pedicure. It was silly but she didn't indulge herself often.
She noted the message light on her phone and moved in that direction, shedding her coat.
"Her machine, you got her machine, so she's still out with her plans. Out with some man, some other man."
Mulder? It was his voice, but the words were slurred. Was he hurt? Had he been injured? She strained to hear him better.
"Any man other than Spooky Mulder, right? Let's face it, Spooky, you're not her type and you never will be."
Her eyes were huge. She could hear something being poured now. Drunk? Mulder was drunk?
"If he hurts her, I'll break his ass. Yeah, that's it, I'll be a big brother to her. Then Bill and I can get together at family reunions."
She shook her head at that, a small smile appearing on her face at the thought.
There was a long space on the tape. She could hear glass hitting glass then, "Why can't it be me, Scully?"
There was nothing else. The tape ran out. She sank onto her couch, refusing to focus. She couldn't, not on those words. Did he honestly not know? Oh god.
It sounded like he'd had a lot. She needed to check on him. She rose and without thought, yanked the tape from the machine. She'd replace it later.
She let herself into his apartment, not bothering to knock. He was passed out on the couch. The weapons of his destruction arranged on the table before him.
She placed the phone back in the cradle. He'd finished most of the Scotch, but there were two beers left. Scully approached him cautiously; he seemed to be asleep. She felt for his pulse - strong and steady. Her hand caressed his cheek, of its own accord. He pressed his face into her hand, "Scully." But he didn't wake.
She moved away from him then and, needing something to do, began cleaning up the mess. There was no evidence of food. She emptied the rest of the Scotch down the kitchen sink and put one of the beers in his pitifully empty refrigerator. When she was finished, she opened the other for herself and sank into a chair, facing him.
He was so beautiful when he slept. He was beautiful anyway, but when he was asleep she could 'gaze' at him. 'Why can't it be me, Scully?'
How could he not know? Who the hell else was going to see the new haircut? No, he wouldn't notice the nails, and he'd never see the toes, but . . . She sighed, if she were a mutant or a ghost, or an alien bounty hunter he'd know everything there was to know about her. But she was just a woman, and he didn't have a clue.
Damn him. She settled in for the night.