She was getting more and more irritated.  This was his idea, she was just along as a favor to him, so why couldn't he at least be on time.  It was amazing, he could be so focused on a case, but a
personal thing and he couldn't even remember to show up.  A tap on her shoulder startled her.

"You're late, I've been looking for you everywhere."  Mulder said.

"I'm late! You, you're . . ." she sputtered until the grin appeared on his face.  Oh, it had been a long time since she'd seen a truly happy smile on his face.  Too long.  "If you're through with the infantile
tricks can we get on with this?"  She managed to keep the smile off her face, why give him the satisfaction.

"Sure, never like to keep a lady waiting.  Where should we go?"

"Well, what kind of wedding present do you want to get them?"

"I was hoping you'd know."

"Look, he's your friend, I met him once.  You've known him for years."  Had the man not given any thought to this?

"True, but I can't remember ever buying a wedding present for anyone."

"Great.  Let's look in the china department."  He dutifully followed her up the escalator, more than a little amused at her officious air.

Once in the china department, he pulled his elbows in and followed Scully.  He really wasn't comfortable in places like this.  Nothing made him feel more awkward than all this china and crystal.
She stopped in front of a display momentarily, then moved on.  He continued to look at the display.

"Do you like this?"

"Of course, it's beautiful."  He'd probably never noticed there was a pattern on china before, she thought.

"It's not what I would have picked for you."

"Why not?"   What was he talking about?

"It's too frilly."


"You know, flowers and things."

"And just what do you think I would like?"  This should be interesting.

"I don't know, something plainer, like that over there."  He pointed to a pattern in a different display.  A clerk approached them.

"Are you here to register a pattern?  I can help, if you just give me the date of your wedding."

"No."  Scully replied, a little forcefully, Mulder thought as he appreciated the slight color that had come to her face.  "We're here to pick out a gift."

"Oh, we have some lovely gifts.  If you know the pattern I can look it up for you, our crystal vases are on sale as well, if you'd like to look at them."

"Thank you, we'll just look around for a while."

"Please let me know if I can assist you."  She wandered off to the next customer.

"A little rude there, Scully?"  He should be amused at her reaction.  What was wrong with people thinking they were a couple?


"She could have been a big help."

"Oh shut up, Mulder."  He was enjoying this, the jerk.

"Testy, aren't we."

"Do you want me to help you with this or not?"  He gallantly bowed and allowed her to precede him to the escalator.  She gave him a withering glance.

This was kind of fun, he thought.  This was a whole new side to her, he should spend more time away from the office with her . . .

"What about linens?"  Scully asked.

"What about them?"

"Well, why not just get them a nice set of towels, have them monogrammed.  That's always an elegant gift."

"Yeah, that could be nice.  Or sheets, maybe?"

"Okay."  She said slowly.  "Do you know what size bed they have?"


"You know, double, queen or king.  You have to know that to buy sheets.  Some people actually don't sleep on sofas you know."  She said dryly.

"You have a queen don't you?"

"Yes, and I think towels would be a better idea." She commented dryly.

"What about lingerie?"

"What?"  That suggestion caught her off guard.

"You know, lingerie, pretty underwear."  He tried to keep his expression bland.

"I know what lingerie is, Mulder.  You cannot give that as a gift."

"Why not?  I've heard about lingerie showers."

"Showers yes, wedding presents no.  And in any case it would be inappropriate for a male friend of the groom who is single to give lingerie to the bride.  Especially the stuff you would pick out."

"I beg your pardon?"  This really was fun; he had her going now.  Yeah, a little time out of the office with her might be . . .

"I know the kind of 'lingerie' you would pick out and it would never be appropriate."

"You cut me to the quick.  You don't think I could pick out something you'd like?"  He put his hand over his heart, and flashed those puppy dog eyes at her.

She decided to ignore that, rather than give him an opening.  "Right.  I don't suppose you have a clue to the colors they are going to decorate with."

"Right again, my dear Scully.  I had no idea this would take this much . . . "


"Cute.  What about that color?"  He pointed to a set of red, white and blue striped towels that looked more like beach towels than anything she would choose.

"Mulder, can you see that color?"

"Well, no, but . . . "

"Go over there and sit down, I'll order the towels." She turned her back on him but could no longer suppress a grin.  He was hopeless, but this was a whole new side to him she'd never seen.  Maybe
she should spend a more time away from the office with him . . .

Author's Note:  I obviously spent too much time at the mall before Christmas, but this one couple gave me this story - wish I knew what was really going on . . .