She knocked on his door and waited. Would he let her in? She needed to check on him, but he had disappeared pretty quickly when they had been released. Finally she heard him approaching the door.
He took a moment to open it, then just looked at her. “Scully?”
“Hi. May I come in?”
“Uh, sure.” He stepped back, allowing her entry. “Is anything wrong?”
“No. I was just missing you.”
“Missing me?” he sounded confused.
“We were together a couple of hours ago.”
“No we weren’t. You were very far away.”
“Scully - “
“I’m glad you cleaned up in here.” She looked around the apartment. Those drawings were down, the walls bare again.
He huffed an unamused laugh. “It didn’t go with my décor.”
“No, it didn’t.”
“Look, I’m sorry you saw that. It’s okay now.”
“Is that how you always profiled?”
He shrugged, avoiding the answer. It didn’t look like she was leaving soon. “Uh, want a beer?”
“Yeah.” She watched him move toward the kitchen. After a moment she headed for the couch. That’s where he found her. She looked comfortable, damn it.
He held out the bottle and she took it with a smile of thanks. He sank down onto the other end of the couch and took a pull on the bottle. She had come here, he had nothing to say.
“Have you eaten?” she finally asked.
“Do you want to order a pizza or something?”
He glanced over at her. He obviously wasn’t going to get rid of her easily tonight. “Yeah, okay.” He picked up the phone from the coffee table and dialed from memory. He placed the order, then put the receiver in the charger. “Should be here in about half an hour.”
She nodded. When she didn’t say anything else, he reached for the remote. “Mulder, I realize you were upset with me during this case - “
“What?” He turned, obviously startled at her words.
“Well, I didn’t understand what you were doing. I’ve heard about your reputation as a profiler, Monty Props, John Lee Roche, John Barnett, Luther Lee Boggs - “
“It’s okay, I remember.”
“Is this why you stopped?”
“Scully - “
“I want to know. Mulder, I need to know. I don’t want to hinder you.”
“Hinder - Scully, no, you didn’t hinder me.”
“You certainly didn’t come to me, or seem to need me during the investigation.”
“That’s not true.” Her eyebrow rose. “Okay, maybe it looked that way.”
“Maybe? I’m your partner, Mulder.”
He turned back toward the blank screen of the TV and took another pull on the bottle. “You’re a lot more than that.”
“What?” Her head swiveled toward him.
“I don’t profile. I don’t take those cases. This one wasn’t like those, oh it was bad enough, but not like, not like ones I’ve worked in the past.”
“This one wasn’t as bad?” she was staring at him now.
“The others were worse?”
“Scully, I don’t want - “
“Fine. I just wanted to check on you. I was concerned. Obviously you’re fine. I’ll get out of your way.” She set her mostly full bottle of beer on the table and rose.
“Wait. Don’t go.”
“You sound like you’d rather be alone.”
“I don’t . . . I’m sorry. I don’t want to be alone. Please.”
She eased back down on the couch. “What’s going on with you?”
He looked away again. “It was different this time.”
“And you don’t want to talk about it? Is it Patterson?”
“Patterson. I feel sorry for him. I understand what happened to him. It could have . . . it would have happened to me if I’d stayed.”
She jerked forward before she could stop herself, her hand out to touch him. He smiled and squeezed her fingers, then didn’t let go, playing with them. “This case was different.”
He sighed. “You.”
“Me? I wasn’t there, I doubted your methods.”
“You were there. You were . . . around me.” She only looked confused. He wasn’t saying this right. “I didn’t feel alone this time.”
She blinked at those words and slowly a smile started to grow on her face. “You weren’t.”
He nodded and leaned back, taking the beer back to his lips. It wasn’t exactly a declaration, but maybe she understood a little bit now.
Author's note - Zeugma is Greek for "to join"
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Mulder, Scully, the Lone Gunman and Skinner all belong to Chris Carter, 10-13 and Fox. No infringement intended.