By the time Mulder reached his place, the sight of Daniel was plaguing him. She pulled into a nearby parking place and got out. One look at his face and she knew something was wrong. He led her into the apartment, but once inside she turned immediately. “Talk to me.”
“Are you upset that I tracked you down?”
“Upset? Mulder - “
“Why did you want to meet Becky at the hospital?”
She shrugged, “If you leave during the day, finding a parking space is impossible. I could park as a visitor. It was just easier.”
“So you . . . “
“You didn’t plan to meet Daniel?”
She gaped at him. She’d thought they would be talking about Samantha and the picture. He’d obviously forgotten about that. A look of sorrow filled her eyes. “We haven’t talked about him yet.”
“Red, I - “
”You need to know the truth about Daniel and me.”
He winced. She saw that, and took his hand leading him to the couch. She sat and pulled him down beside her. His face was so carefully blank she wanted to caress it, but right now they needed to talk.
She took a deep breath, “Mulder, Daniel and I weren’t engaged. He asked me, but I before I could give him my answer, I was taken.”
He met her eyes then, startled.
She sighed, “You need to know about him.”
He nodded slightly, confident he didn’t want to hear this.
“Mulder, I was flattered by the attention. Here was this internationally renowned cardiologist wanting to mentor me. He thought I was good enough to be his protégé. After we worked together for a while, spending long hours together, it became more . . . personal.” She shook her head. “It should never have happened. I knew he was married.” She looked away then.
“Red - “
She moved her hand slightly, stopping him and he was silent.
“Somehow, finally, I found my backbone. I realized that I was drawn to pathology, more than cardiology. When I worked with the police and found answers for them, it was . . . exhilarating. Being able to give people answers they desperately needed about what had happened to their loved ones . . . I told Daniel and . . . and he was angry. He couldn’t believe . . .I don’t think anyone had ever disagreed with him before. He had decided I should be a cardiologist and for me to defy him stunned him. And when I stood my ground . . .”
She shifted, not looking at him. “I told him I didn’t want to see him any more; that I wanted to break it off. That’s when he changed. For some reason it was like he wanted me to defy him, dominate him.” She shuddered at some memory and Mulder leaned closer. “He left his wife and, and asked me to marry him.” She shook her head again, “I’m so ashamed. I knew he was married, I knew he had a family and still I allowed myself - “
”No Red, he used you. He was an important man, someone who had power over you. He knew what he was doing. He used you, like . . . like I used Diana.”
“Mulder, you didn’t - “
“Yeah, I did. Okay, I don’t have power over her, but . . .” Her fingers closed around his and squeezed.
“I should have known better, I did know better.” She said again, resignedly.
“Red, you were the victim. You know that don’t you?” His hand turned to take hold of hers and he looked at how their fingers merged.
He didn’t meet her eyes, so she leaned in, dipping her head so that she could see his face. He looked at her then. She looked so relieved, as though his opinion really mattered to her.
“Mulder . . . “
“You, you don’t really think I wanted to see Daniel? I honestly didn’t even think about him being there. That’s how unimportant he is to me.”
His finger traced her cheekbone, seemingly unintentionally. He couldn’t stop himself.
“Make love to me Mulder.”
His head came up immediately, his eyes meeting hers. She saw the want, the need in his eyes and leaned in to kiss him. They had learned about her together, she still needed to learn about him. This streak of insecurity kept surfacing and she needed to know more about that.
Since he was hesitating, she reached over and loosened his tie.
He watched as she removed the tie, and unbuttoned his shirt. She didn’t love Daniel.
His hands caressed her shoulders and down her arms. She smiled at him then. This man meant so much to her. He had saved her in ways he would never understand by his love, his support.
She was in love with him. The thought made her pause. “Red?”
She leaned in to kiss him and his arms went around her. “Please.” She whispered in his ear. His body responded to her immediately and he felt her smile.
He released her long enough to remove her sweater and slacks, leaving her in panties and bra. “You know, I’m going to have to invest in a bed.”
“Good idea, but not right now, okay?” She reached for him again. She unbuckled his belt and slipped it from the loops. He was breathing heavily now.
Once his slacks and boxers were tossed on the coffee table with her clothes, she pushed him toward the couch. He watched her as she stood over him, then she reached around and unfastened her bra. His breath caught and his hands moved toward her. She smiled stepping back out of his reach. His eyes narrowed playfully, but he waited.
She suppressed her own smile at the look in his eyes. He wanted her; that was obvious. Painfully so by the look of him. She slipped a finger into her panties and touched her wetness. His breath stuttered and his hand twitched to touch her. “Red.” He managed to groan. She removed the damp silk panties and let them fall to the floor.
Her eyes smiled then and moved to him, straddling him. His eyes widened and his hands went around her waist to touch her, but let her take the lead.
His eyes never left hers as she rode him toward ecstasy. She was so beautiful. Did she have any idea what she meant to him? He felt the change in her rhythm and then she tightened around him. That was all it took and they came together. She collapsed onto his chest and his shaking arms held her close.
Daniel let himself into the office, and called for his nurse. She knew that tone and hurried to his office. “Yes sir?”
“Do you have the card of that FBI agent? The one that was here yesterday?”
“Yes sir, I’m sure it’s still at the desk. I’ll look.”
“I need it.” He turned away from her. She backed out of the office and hurried to the front desk. She rummaged through the paperwork that the receptionist had left, muttering again about the inefficiency of her co-worker. It wasn’t like the younger woman’s cup size made her office skills any better. She finally located the card stuck in the desk pad. She moved quickly back to the office before he could have a chance to become annoyed.
“Dr. Waterston, I found the card. Would you like me to call her?”
“No, I’ll take care of it. Take my next patient back and I’ll be there shortly.” He closed the door firmly behind her and took a seat behind his desk. Why had they been at the hospital? Had she come to see him and the agent followed her? That would make sense. Dana was a special woman, much more so than the two women he had seen since she disappeared.
He had been so relieved when Maggie had told him that Dana didn’t remember her life before her disappearance. He had thought that would give him the time to straighten things out between them. Their relationship had been rocky just before she vanished. Then this man had interfered, even to the point of investigating him.
It wasn’t too late to get things back on track. He just needed to get this Mulder out of the picture. Their life would have been perfect and it still could be.
He dialed the number and was already tapping the desk impatiently by the second ring.
“Yes, Ms. Fowley, this is Dr. Waterston. You were in my office yesterday, regarding Dr. Scully.”
“Yes sir.” Why was he calling her? She still hadn’t decided how to handle this part of the equation.
“Are you familiar with an Agent Mulder?”
She tensed, now what? “Yes sir.” She didn’t dare offer anything.
“Was he involved in the investigation surrounding Dr. Scully’s disappearance?”
“No sir. He works in a different division.”
“Do you know of any reason that he would be involved in her case?” The man sounded impatient now.
“Well, yes. He was there when she was . . . released. He assisted in transporting her home, but - “
“He brought her home? From where?”
“I, I’m afraid that is part of the investigation.”
“Why, if Agent Mulder is not part of the investigation, would he be involved in bringing her home?”
“I’m sorry, Dr. Waterston. Agent Mulder just happened to be in the vicinity and is a veteran agent. Since she was being brought to DC, I’m sure the Bureau would request his aid in such an assignment.”
There was a slight pause. “Then why would he be investigating me?”
“He has inserted himself into areas that do not concern him. I need to know the name of his supervisor.”
“His supervisor? Excuse me, I don’t understand.”
“If he is not a part of the official investigation, and was only involved in transporting Dr. Scully here, I want to request that he be asked to leave the family alone.”
“Dr. Waterston, could we meet to discuss this? I’m not sure I understand.”
Daniel hesitated, in his mind scoping the woman out. She was older than he usually was interested in, but her body was in good shape. He shook his head; that was unimportant. “Yes, that would be fine. What about the Watergate, six o’clock.”
“Thank you, that will be fine. I’ll see you there.”
He was at the bar when she entered. She was a fine looking mature woman. He hadn’t really looked at her yesterday. Dana had been on this mind. That reminded him, he needed to call Kristi and tell her he was busy this week and wouldn’t be able to meet with her.
Daniel rose as she approached and raised a finger at the waiter, who immediately came forward to seat them at Dr. Waterston’s favorite table.
“I’ll have another Scotch rocks, Carl. What about you Miss Fowley?”
“I’ll take a Scotch too. Thank you.”
Daniel nodded his approval, too bad she wasn’t his type. When the drinks were brought and Carl had left the table, he looked at her. “How well do you know this Agent Mulder?”
“We’ve worked together off and on for over a year. We’ve been partners for six months.”
“Partners? Then you should know him. I am not under investigation regarding Dr. Scully’s disappearance.”
“Fine, then I want that man to back off. My personal life is none of his business, my relationship with Dr. Scully is none of his business. I would like the name of his supervisor to ensure that he understands his place.”
“Dr. Waterston, Agent Mulder and I have an assignment that will take us out of town tomorrow. I’m sure that will give you and Ms. Scully time to work out your situation without bringing the Bureau hierarchy into it. I will personally discuss this with Agent Mulder.”
Daniel’s eyes scanned her face. So, this woman was involved with Agent Mulder and wanted a resolution as much as he did. He idly wondered what the younger man saw in her. After a moment he leaned back. “You will be out town.” She nodded, “All right, I will wait. But, Agent Fowley, if he continues to harass my fiancée when he returns, I will speak to someone at the Bureau.”
“I understand. I appreciate you giving me the time to take care of this situation.”
Dr. Waterston picked up his drink and nodded to her. She picked up her own glass and took a sip, they had reached an agreement. Now she'd have to find a case this evening that Blevins would approve.
Mulder looked up as Diana entered the office the next morning. She didn’t speak, just slapped the tickets on the desk in front of him.
“Blevins wants us to go to Illinois. We’re to work with the Chicago field office on a series of murders.”
“Chicago?” He picked up a ticket and looked over it. “Today?”
“We leave at three. Do you have your bag with you?”
“No.” Of course not, he’d had no warning on this.
“Then you better go pack. Do you want me to pick you up on the way to the airport?”
“No. I’ll meet you there. Do you have the file?”
She nodded. He stood and moved around her, heading for his car.
He made a beeline for the Scully home. Dana answered the door. She looked surprised and very pleased. “How did you know I wanted to see you right now?”
She shook her head slightly, “I thought I made that clear yesterday.”
Finally a smile appeared on his face. “Yeah, that was pretty clear.”
“Well finally.” She stepped back, “Come on in. It’s a little early for lunch.”
“Actually for a change I’m not here to eat. Food.” He clarified as her eyebrow rose and that sparkle appeared in her eyes.
“Too bad.” She took his hand and led him toward the living room.
“I can’t stay. I, I have to go out of town this afternoon and I wanted you to know.”
“For how long?” She sat on the couch and he took a seat beside her. She still hadn’t shown him the picture that the guys had created from Samantha’s school picture. Well, it wasn’t something she could go into now. They needed time alone. When he returned . . .
“Don’t know. The Chicago office has a case they want me to try to profile.”
“You won’t be going alone.” It wasn’t a question.
“No, Diana will go too. She is my partner. The fact that I don’t trust her . . . “
“There might be an opportunity to ask her about the man with the cigarettes.”
He nodded, that thought had occurred to him.
“When do you have to leave?”
“My flight is at three. I need to pack and get over to National. I wish I had time to take you to lunch.”
“Mulder, it’s okay. Will you, will you call me?”
“Count on it.” He glanced at his watch and rose reluctantly. She stood beside him and he took her into his arms as though she had always fit there against him.
When they finally broke for air, he looked down at her and brushed the hair back from her face. That was when he noticed that Maggie stood discretely in the doorway. “Maggie, I - “
“Good to see you Mulder. We weren’t expecting you for lunch.”
He stepped back away from Dana. “No, I’m not here for lunch. I have to go out of town and I wanted to . . . “
“Out of town? Can you tell me where, or is that classified?”
“Chicago. I hope I won’t be gone long.”
“We do too. Well, I just wanted to say hi.” She gave him a light hug and disappeared into the back of the house.
“She saw us.” He looked uncomfortably down at Dana.
“Mulder, I’m 28 years old. She’s aware of my past relationship with Daniel. I don’t think giving you a kiss in the living room shocked her.”
He nodded, “I really do need to get going.”
“I’ll miss you.”
He didn’t speak then, just taking in her face with his eyes, memorizing every feature yet again.
Maggie saw how unhappy Dana was when he left. Their relationship was moving very fast. Dana wasn’t a child and Mulder seemed like a much better match for her than her other relationships, but still Maggie wanted to know more about him.
He was bright and seemed to have an impressive career, but he had not really talked about his personal life, except for his parents’ divorce. Maybe she should spend a little time with him herself.
Mulder had been gone about thirty minutes when the phone rang again. Dana hurried to it, hoping he'd call once more before he left. There was no reason for him to, but she missed him already.
"Dana, Sweetheart, it's Daniel."
She closed her eyes, he'd said he'd be in touch. Damn it. She took a steadying breath. "Yes?"
He hesitated, she still didn't sound very friendly. Had she recaptured any of her memories? "I need to see you Sweetheart. I have a couple of hours now. Could we get together?"
She glanced around the kitchen as though expecting answers to pop out of the cabinets. None did, so she focused on the phone again. "Why don't you come over here?" She shuddered slightly at the thought. She was repulsed by the man. He'd never called her Sweetheart until she'd stood up to him.
"I'd rather have some privacy Dana. Your parents - "
"Dad is at work. Mom was going to run some errands. Here will be fine."
He hesitated, but at least she was agreed to see him and Agent Mulder was out of town. "Okay Sweetheart. I'll be there in half an hour."
"I'll see you then." She hung up first and turned to see her mother coming into the kitchen.
"Was that for me?"
"No, that was Daniel. He's coming over to see me."
"When?" Maggie stopped in mid-reach for the refrigerator door.
"Now. While you're running errands."
"Dana, are you sure - "
"It will be okay. I have to talk to him sometime. I'd just like to get it over with."
"I don't feel right, leaving you alone."
Dana smiled slightly and moved closer to her mother, giving her a quick hug, "I'll be okay. And I know you'll hurry home."
"Count on it." Maggie sighed, "I'll go on now, so I can get back. Dana, you will be careful."
She was nervous though. Dana felt her heart rate soar when the doorbell rang. Her hand was on the knob, but still she hesitated to actually open the door. Taking a deep breath, she finally turned the knob.
"Daniel." She stepped back to allow him entry.
He reached to draw her into his arms, but she retreated another step, so his arms fell back to his side. He glanced around the foyer. The dining room was to the right with the kitchen beyond that. The living room was to the left. He glanced briefly at the stairs, but he'd seen no car in the garage. Apparently they did have privacy to talk.
"You look beautiful Dana. No one would be able to tell that you had been though such an ordeal."
Her mind flew to the tests she'd endured and he saw the slight shiver that she tried to suppress. "You said we should talk, Daniel."
"Of course." His hand touched her elbow, leading her to the living room. He paid no attention to the furnishings. His were grander and more expensive and in his mind that was all that mattered.
She motioned him to take a seat on the couch, so he did. Once he was seated she took the chair across from him. She could see that he was miffed at that, but waited. He was the one that had asked for this meeting.
“Dana, I realize I’ve handled things badly since you returned. I was just so happy to have you back. I want us to be the way we were. You were going to join my practice, we were going to be married.”
Her eyebrow rose, but she didn’t speak.
“I know, I should have finalized the divorce, but Dana, you don’t know how devastated I was by your disappearance. That suite I was in was so impersonal. I . . . I needed familiar things around me.”
Dana still didn’t speak and he was becoming uncomfortable.
“Please, Dana, we had plans, wonderful plans and now that you’re home - “
“My memories have returned.” She didn’t imagine the sudden pallor of his skin. Apparently this wasn’t the best news.
“You . . . Dana, that’s wonderful. Really. So, you know how good things were between us.”
“No, what I remember, Daniel, is that we were over.”
“Dana - “
“I told you that I was going into pathology and you were furious when I refused to back down. I haven’t changed my mind.”
“It’s that man, the one who brought you home - “
“Did you hear anything I just said Daniel? It was over before I was taken. I tried to tell you. I wanted you to stay with your wife; I wanted you to be a father to your daughter. I’ve moved on. I’ve been through . . . Daniel, what I went through made one thing clear to me, I’m going to live my life, my way.”
“But together, Dana, together we were magic. I’ve never met anyone like you.” He was leaning forward now. Without thinking, she leaned back trying to put more distance between them.
The move seemed to anger him, and he reached out, taking hold of her arm. “Dana I need you to listen to me. We’d had a little argument before you . . . but not enough to - “
“Let go of me.”
Instead of listening, his grip tightened.
She felt fear for the first time since his arrival. This had been a mistake, seeing him alone. His breathing was heavy and his look was determined. He was bigger than she was, even if she’d been in top shape. It just hadn’t occurred to her that he would try to force himself . . . The doorbell startled them both and his grip loosened.
She was able to jerk away and sprang to her feet.
“Dana - “
She was moving toward the door. Whoever it was, she was glad to see them. Hell, she’d invite someone sporting “The Watchtower” into the house right now.
“Dana, please, we’re not through - “
“Oh yes we are.” She jerked the front door open to see the startled face of Melvin Frohike. “Frohike.” She barely breathed the name.
One look at her face and he stepped inside, ready to do battle for her, whatever it was. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing now. I’m glad you’re here.”
He didn’t believe her and stepped toward the living room. Frohike spotted the doctor standing just out of sight from the door.
“Daniel Waterston.” Frohike spoke to himself, but he looked over at Dana. “Are you alright?”
He looked her in the eye, then took a step toward Daniel. “You need to leave now Dr. Waterston.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I believe Dana is ready for you to leave.”
“Who the hell do you think you are?”
“A friend.” Frohike turned back toward Dana. “Do you want him gone?”
Daniel looked up at her, outraged. “You don’t mean that."
"I do mean it Daniel. Don't come back, don't call me."
"Dana, I - "
The small man stepped between them. "You heard the lady."
Daniel took a step closer and Frohike's partially gloved hand came up and touched his custom made shirt.
Daniel's mouth opened, but something in this little man's eyes caused him to rethink his words.
"Do you want to take this outside, Waterston?"
Daniel stepped back, pulling his suit coat straight. "I'll never understand you Dana, or what you're willing to give up."
"Then it's a good thing you don't have to dwell on it. Have a nice life Daniel."
Some unseen signal seemed to pass between Dana and her protector, because his hand closed on Daniel's elbow. "I'll show you out."
Daniel didn't speak, but didn't resist either, pulling his dignity around him.
Frohike opened the door and watched the doctor step outside. Dana joined Frohike at the door, standing slightly behind him. Daniel turned before stepping off the porch. "Dana - "
Frohike met his eyes. "Tell Kristi hi." He said softly, dangerously.
Daniel's eyes widened and two red spots appeared on his white cheeks. He didn't speak then, turning abruptly and walking rapidly to his car.
"You don't want to know."
"You are absolutely right. Can I get you some coffee? And then you could tell me how you happened to show up just when I needed you?"
Frohike looked embarrassed and unsure for the first time. "Oh that, well . . . "
"Mulder told you he was going out of town and to keep an eye on me, didn't he?"
The little man looked down and actually shuffled his feet.
"Thank you for taking him so literally. That could have been . . . "
"He's gone now Dana. You just let me know if he ever tries to contact you or bother you again. I'll take care of him."
She started to smile, but the look in his eyes made her stop. He was serious and she believed him. He would take care of Daniel if he bothered her again. She found herself relaxing another notch. She had found some very good friends recently.