Mulder knocked a second time on the door. He had told her he was coming over to bring these files. Well, if she was out he could just leave them on the table. He felt a slight disappointment at missing her. Usually when he stopped by her place she had on her casual clothes, rather than those suits she wore to work and he could . . . He shook his head and slipped his key into her lock.
He was barely inside when he realized she had just gotten out of the shower. He heard the shower door close and knew there was a gleam in his eye. Heíd probably get slapped if he let her get close enough, but it might be worth it.
He laid the files on the table and waited, a grin on his face. When the bathroom door opened, a man wearing boxers and towel drying his hair emerged. Mulder froze for an instant, then his gun was out. "Freeze! Put your hands up. Whereís Scully?"
The hands went above the manís head and the towel fell to the floor. "Donít shoot. You must be Mulder."
Mulderís eyes narrowed at that. "Who are you?"
"Charlie. Charlie Scully, Iím Danaís brother."
"Iíd offer you some ID but . . ." He shrugged and looked down at his boxers.
Mulder was scanning him, yes that ginger colored hair and he had Scullyís blue eyes. Mulder lowered his gun, chagrinned. "Listen, Iím . . . I didnít know you were here."
"Yeah, hey, do you mind if I get dressed? Iím really much better with my clothes on."
Mulder closed his eyes for an instant. Great, heíd made a wonderful impression on her other brother now. He nodded and Charlie moved into Danaís bedroom. "I put coffee on, if you want some." Charlie called from the bedroom. "Wish it was decaf under the circumstances, but . . . "
His voice trailed off and Mulder made his way to the kitchen, shaking his head in defeat. Shit!
Charlie emerged quickly, wearing casual slacks and an open collared sport shirt. He was holding his wallet, which he presented to Mulder. "See, it really is me."
"Mr. Scully, Iím . . . "
"Charlie. Itís Charlie. And if I were to come in and find a nearly naked man where I was expecting Mary, Iíd want to pull a gun too, if I had one." He held out his hand. "Letís start over, Mulder, Iím pleased to meet you."
Mulder took his hand gratefully and shook it.
Charlie nodded, "Did you leave me any coffee?" He moved around the taller man and poured himself a mug. Mulder just watched him bemused, he didnít seem angry; he was just accepting have a gun shoved in his face like it happened every day.
Charlie took a seat and motioned for Mulder to take one as well.
After a moment, Mulder found his voice, "Where is Scully?"
"She went to the store. She should be back any minute."
Mulder nodded, afraid to say more and took a sip of the coffee. They both looked up as the door to the apartment opened.
"Charlie? I forgot to tell you Mulder might drop by and - " She stopped as she spotted the two of them sitting at the table.
"Weíve met." Charlieís voice dripped with sarcasm.
She stood at the entrance to the kitchen, grocery bag forgotten in her arms.
"What happened?" She finally asked.
"Well, my heart got a good aerobic workout and I got some good dirt on you. You might want to let the men who have keys to your apartment know when you have other men staying over. Especially the ones that are armed."
Scullyís eyes widened and she looked from one to the other. "What happened?" She finally asked again.
"I didnít shoot him, Scully. Relax."
"Oh my god." She placed the bag on the table finally.
"Hey, did you get doughnuts?" Charlie pulled the bag to him and started searching through it, the trauma apparently forgotten. Mulder peered in as well and smiled when Charlie withdrew the pastry box.
"Thatís it? You didnít shoot him? What happened!"
Both men looked up at her as though they had forgotten her presence. "Oh, Mulder and I bonded. Do you have any milk?"
Instead of answering she slipped into a chair at the table. Charlie shrugged and stood to look for the milk. Mulder rose as well and poured Scully a cup of coffee, which he placed in front of her.
"Thanks." She said faintly, watching the two of them.
Mulder resumed his seat beside her. "I have a question." Scully turned to look at him. "You and I get along pretty well. Melissa was a little weird but - " He hesitated as her eyebrow rose. "Okay, pot calling the kettle black, anyway, now Iíve met the elusive Charlie. My question is; where did Bill come from?"
Charlie choked; spraying milk toward the sink, then sank back into his chair and grabbed a napkin. "I want to hear the answer to that one myself."
Scully glared at both of them, then rose with dignity and left the room.
The two men exchanged glances. "I think weíre both in trouble now." Mulder offered.
Charlie nodded, "Good thing I have that conference. You can handle her."
"Youíre leaving me alone with her?" Mulder asked.
"Hey, youíre armed." He stood again and wet a paper towel to wipe up the milk on the floor.
"What kind of conference, maybe I could sit in?"
"Iím throwing you both out." Scully was standing in the doorway again, having heard everything they said.
They both stood sheepishly and moved toward the living room. "Hey, Sis, are we still on for dinner? I should be out by five."
After a moment she nodded.
"Great. Mulder, you want to join us?"
Her eyes widened and she looked over at Mulder. A grin took over his face. "Love to. Iíll meet you here, around five then." He let himself out without another word, Scully would find the files and it just seemed like a good time to escape.
He was back before Charlie later that day and knocked carefully, not even considering using his key to let himself in. When Scully answered the door, she gave him the once over. Not normal Saturday night wear for him, no jeans and t-shirt. He was actually in slacks and a golf shirt.
"Left over from California?" She asked as she let him in.
"Yeah. I started to wear the pink one, but I didnít want Charlie to get the wrong idea."
She snorted and followed him to the couch.
"Did you find the files?" He turned toward her.
"Yes and Iím checking some things. But I refuse to talk about work tonight."
"Yes maíam." He nodded in a military fashion at her and her eyes narrowed again. He was in too good a mood.
About that time the door opened and Charlie let himself in. He stopped when he saw that Mulder was already here. "Hi. Have you guys been waiting long?"
"No, I just got here, and she refused to discuss business so Iím glad you arrived."
"She can be narrow like that." Charlie offered as Scully stared at the two of them.
"If you two canít behave you can go to dinner without me, you know."
The two men looked at each other as though contemplating just that when she whirled away from them and grabbed her purse. "Like Iíd leave the two of you alone together." She muttered under her breath.
Mulder struggled to keep a bland face while she glared at him. He turned to Charlie. "Well, where would you like to go? Youíre the tourist."
"You know where Iíd really like to go?" He looked over at Mulder, "The Lone Gunmenís apartment. Think thereís any way you could get me in?"
Mulder gaped at him for just a second while Scully sputtered. "Uh, yeah, no problem."
"Mulder!" Scully was looking even more outraged.
"Hey, Scully, heís our guest. We should always try to accommodate company."
"Did you two rehearse this? You canít be serious about going over there."
"Sure I am. I love your stories about those guys, Dana."
Mulder looked over at her. "Stories?"
"Shut up, Mulder. I cannot believe the two of you." She sighed. Great, instead of a nice evening at a decent restaurant, catching up on family, she was going to spend another evening with the geeks from hell - and she was including the two standing here in that description.
"Charlie, you want to freshen up? Iíll drive."
Charlie nodded and disappeared into the back of the apartment.
"Mulder." Scully hissed at him, "I do not plan to spend my entire Saturday night over there."
"No problem, weíll hang out for a little while then go get some dinner."
"Cross my heart." She rolled her eyes but said nothing, plopping down in her easy chair to wait. He could hear her muttering and turned away to hide his smile.
When Charlie rejoined them, Mulder opened the door and led them to his car. Charlie took the front seat next to Mulder, so Scully let herself in the back. Her mutterings were almost loud enough to hear now.
Mulder pulled out into traffic and then glanced over at Charlie. "No one told me you were coming." His eyes darted to the back seat for an instant, "but Iím surprised youíre not staying with your mother."
"Well, Iíd planned to stay there. Sheís out of town, but the power went off in her neighborhood, so I imposed on Dana. Even without Mary here, at my age, a cold shower sounds horrible."
Mulder nodded in agreement. "Iíd like to meet Mary sometime."
"Oh she wants to meet you too. She couldnít come this trip. Will, our oldest, had a band concert so sheís attending for both of us."
"She wants to meet me?"
"Dana doesnít only talk about the Lone Gunmen."
Mulder glanced back at her but she was looking out the window, ostensibly ignoring both of them.
When they arrived at the apartment, Mulder again led them in, Scully trailing. He knocked and looked up at the surveillance camera.
The door opened fairly quickly, though they could hear several locks being disengaged. Charlieís grin got bigger and bigger.
"Mulder, my man. We didnít expect to see you tonight." Langly opened the door wide, then spotted the rest of the entourage.
"Weíve got special company tonight, guys. This is Charlie Scully, Scullyís other brother."
Langly held out his hand cautiously to shake. "Donít worry, Iím the nice brother." Charlie spoke and shook the blondeís hand. "Very pleased to meet you. Iíve heard a lot about you. Youíre Langly, right?"
"Uh, yeah." He motioned for them to come in. Byers and Frohike had joined them by now. Introductions were made and Charlieís enthusiasm for seeing their work put them at ease.
Scully just shook her head slightly and took a seat off to one side, an older copy of the newsletter in her hand. She followed the conversation lightly until she heard Frohike speak.
"Hey, we were going to order a pizza, why donít you guys stay?"
"That would be great." Charlie spoke before Scully could open her mouth.
Mulder looked over at Scully and moved Frohike so that he was standing between them. "What?" Frohike looked from him to Scully and back.
"Scully, what if I promise you a really nice dinner tomorrow night?"
She shut her eyes and slumped in the chair. Sure, whatever.
It was after eleven when she finally dragged the two of them away. Charlie had a receipt for a three-year subscription in his pocket, the longest they offered.
Once back in the car, Mulder looked over at Charlie. "Do you have plans for tomorrow?"
In the back seat Scully, rubbed her forehead lightly as though a headache had taken up permanent residence.
"I have a continuing ed session from one to three, then I head for the airport."
"We could get some breakfast, then I could show you our office."
"Are you serious? You could get me in there?"
Scully groaned, but they ignored her.
When they got to her place, Mulder walked in with them. "I can pick you guys up at, say, nine? Thereís an I-HOP on the way. We can get some breakfast and then Iíll show you some of the files."
"Great. See you then." Charlie shook his hand and headed for the back.
Mulder turned to Scully. "Did you have a really terrible time?"
"No." She said grudgingly, "and Iím glad the two of you get along better than you and Bill."
"You didnít have to bond quite so well, you know. Iím holding you to that Ďniceí dinner tomorrow night."
"Yes maíam." He smiled down at her. "Sleep well, Scully. Iíll pick you up around nine."
She nodded and walked him to the door. "Be careful."
"Always." He shut the door behind himself and waited until he heard the deadbolt engage, then headed for his car.
He was wearing the jeans and t-shirt the next morning. Charlie was a little more dressed in deference to his meeting later. Scully had opted for slacks and a sweater. Going into the office on a Sunday always made her so happy.
Following a fattening breakfast of Belgian waffles, she was in a better mood and watched bemusedly as the two men dived into the files. Charlie was asking questions she would never have suspected he would ask, and Mulder was reveling in it. She hadnít seen the man so happy since Kersh had gotten stuck in the elevator and missed a meeting with them.
His smile and obvious delight in the company of her brother eased her pique at being here and she settled back to watch the two interact. It really had never occurred to her that these two would get along so well.
It probably should have. Charlie was the most personable Scully. Heíd never met a stranger and his students adored him. Heíd been voted teacher of the year four or five times since going to the university.
She was smiling when Mulder looked around to check on her. His own smile grew and he turned back to Charlie. She booted up her computer. Might as well get some work done.
After about an hour and a half, Scully stood and stretched. "Iím going to make a pot of coffee, you nerds are obviously going to be here awhile."
"Good idea, Dana." Charlie didnít even look up and Scully shook her head. Once she had left the room, he looked up at Mulder. "Finally, weíre alone."
Mulder looked over at him. "What?"
"Just a word to the wise, and if you tell her, sheíll kill both of us."
"What?" Mulder lowered his voice, as though he feared she might listen at the door.
"Iíve never seen her with anyone the way she is with you. Sheís never been Ďin loveí, not even in high school when it was life or death. But you . . . Be good to her Mulder. Sheís a damn special lady and the way she talks about you . . . I know what sheís feeling even if she doesnít."
Mulder gaped at the man, "are you, are you saying she . . . "
Charlie looked at him curiously, "Now I understand. Youíre both numbnuts when it comes to relationships. No wonder youíre so good for each other. Think about it, Mulder. What other woman do you want around you all the time?"
That took no thought. "No one."
"See? Think about it, and eventually man, do something about it. And for godís sake we never had this conversation." He turned back to the file as they heard Scullyís steps approaching.
Mulder was staring at the door when she entered with the coffee pot. She stopped and looked at him. "What?"
"Uh, nothing. Nothing." He turned back to the files and Charlie rolled his eyes. These two needed more than a gentle push, but heíd done what he could. He desperately wanted to see Dana happy and this was the man that could do it. Heíd seen her eyes light up every time she spoke of him, even when she was trying to be angry with him.
Charlie had been unsure until heíd actually seen Mulder, been in the manís gun sights. He loved Dana; he just didnít seem to know it.
After a while, Scully checked her watch. "Charlie, you still need to pack. If we donít get moving, youíll miss your seminar."
Charlie glanced at his watch. "Donít you hate it when sheís right?"
"Iíll let you know if it happens." Mulder grinned at the look of mock outrage on her face.
She couldnít get really angry. Mulder so seldom played. He was in a great mood, and she knew that a large part of this mood was due to her dorky little brother.
Charlie looked back and forth between these two. Oh yeah, these two were almost as right together as he and Mary. "Come on guys. I do need to get my things." He shoved the drawer closed and they headed for the car.
When they got to her apartment, Mulder headed inside with them.
"I know you have to get ready, but Iím really glad I finally got to meet you Charlie. Itís nice to know I can get along with at least one Scully."
"Well, I am the easiest to get along with."
Scully rolled her eyes.
"Iíve noticed." Mulder agreed. "Youíre welcomed in DC whenever you can get here."
"Will do, and you know where Ohio is, right?"
"Right." They shook hands. "Well, Iíll get out of your way. Scully, Iíll pick you up at six."
"Mulder, you donít have - "
"Iíll pick you up at six, and wear something sexy."
Her eyes widened and she opened her mouth to protest.
Charlie chuckled and they remembered he was there. "Hey, I can take a hint. Iíll see you guys on my next trip." He left the room and Mulder shrugged.
"See you at six, Scully?"
She nodded; it did kind of sound like fun.