Summary: Does she hope for something to happen, or know that something will happen?
Key Words: Mulder/Scully UST
Disclaimer: Chris Carter created Mulder and Scully – I’m just taking them for a spin.
Archive: Gossamer, please. Email me before archiving elsewhere. I don’t see why I’d refuse.
Comments: Thanks again to ArtemisX5, who found time to beta this story even with 12-hour shifts at work! Artemis, this story would have sucked without you. Thank you so much 🙂
Oh, BTW, there’s a theory that nothing is inevitable, except human choice and death. That theory inspired this story.
“…everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, lights, metals,
were little boats
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.”
– Pablo Neruda, ‘If You Forget Me’
Scully wakes up sweating, in late autumn. The sky is metallic, bleak, and there are dead leaves clinging to the trees and rotting on the sidewalk. She sees this from her window while eating a
strawberry Poptart and pulling on stockings. There is a disturbing quality to this day, she can tell already. A restrained thunderstorm that might never break.
Brushing her teeth with one hand, lining her eyes with the other. The mirror is smudged and needs to be wiped clean, but she doesn’t have time. This morning there is a meeting with Skinner, and she will be punctual, as always. Her lipstick next, a red that’s brighter than usual. She thinks today’s weather will require bright things.
The top she has chosen is bright too, but a different kind of bright – a white, stark bright. She covers it up with her black suit jacket and trench coat, and tucks it into her black skirt. She wears black often – not in mourning, but because she feels it suits her best. Also, it is professional, but more than that, it is clear-cut, it is simple and true, and it cannot be mistaken for anything else but black.
The bag and shoes by the door, she slips on the latter, picks up the former, and then she is gone from her apartment.
Scully smiles because she is not really leaving her home. She is going to her home. Mulder will be late today, he always is. He’ll arrive half an hour late, she predicts. He’ll walk in with a mumbled apology and slide his coat over the empty chair beside her.
She decides to walk for a while before hailing a cab. The air tastes sour and clamps on her skin, heavy and electric. Her heels slice into the leaves, her tongue slides across her teeth, she bites her lower lip.
She considers her dream during this two-minute stroll. Another dream that has mussed her hair and made her sweat. These dreams are dangerous, she thinks, reckless. They are too steamy for this time of year; they are hot, fever dreams. They belong to summer.
A cab up to the curb beside her. Inside it is dark and cramped, and smells like cigar ash. The driver probably sits in this cab, she thinks, in the wee small hours of the morning, smoking cigars. She wonders, when do cab drivers sleep? She figures they must alternate, there must be shifts. No one can drive without sleep. Except Mulder, but he doesn’t count. His insomnia is more a personality trait than an illness.
It’s strange how she accepts it now. Accepts him now.
As she pays the cab driver, Scully wonders when she started mentally referring to her workplace as ‘home’. She realises that she already knows why. It isn’t hard to figure out; she doesn’t need Mulder’s psychology degree. The day is bleak but seeing her partner will make her smile, even if it’s only inwardly.
He has taken to greeting her by kissing her cheek, pretending these kisses are casual gestures. Kisses from him used to barely exist to her – it seemed he gave them grudgingly. Now he can’t make them seem casual, no matter how hard he tries. Each kiss lingers longer than the last.
Scully walks into the Hoover building, nodding to the security guard. She is smiling, thinking of how she will spend Friday evening with Mulder. She’s been doing this for a while now, whenever she can. They eat out and watch a movie. Something else that would be casual, if they hadn’t spent so long doing almost nothing together but work.
It’s almost too strange for her to handle, yet somehow not strange enough. Something is shifting inside her – perhaps inside both of them. She is sometimes afraid to hope, but more often afraid to
This morning she questions the difference between hope and knowledge. Does she hope for something to happen, or know that something will happen?
She is still smiling as the elevator slides up the building, now thinking of how she’ll be spending Saturday with him, and Sunday too. They have chosen a trivial case, one where no one has been hurt and no one will. A case in Maine, by the beach. She wonders if it is a present from Mulder – an apology for interrupting her last vacation. Now she gets to spend a weekend with him as a constant interruption.
Her smile widens when she sees he is waiting for her in the corridor, early for once. He’s holding two styrofoam coffee cups. He smiles too, and weaves towards her through the morning crowd of people.
As he hands her the coffee he leans forward a little.
For a second Scully thinks – oh my God, he is…he’s going to kiss me in front of all these people.
She imagines the heads turning, the shocked whispers.
Suddenly she wants him to kiss her. She wants him to push her against the wall and bruise her mouth with his. She wants to make love with him, right here in the crowded corridor. Right now.
But then he straightens, and she tries not to look disappointed.
He gives her a grim look – his ‘oh shit, not another pointless meeting’ look. But she’s not fooled, she knows that he’s really smiling. His eyes are smiling.
Scully is surprised to realise they’re both happy. Neither of them had expected to feel like this again.
“Come on Scully,” says Mulder, “time to face the inevitable.”
The inevitable can mean so many things.
Today, she thinks, I’ll take him out to lunch.