X-Files Fic: Au Cafe Pequod, Chapter 3
NOTES: I’m starting to feel a little guilty of misrepresentation, because so far this has been mainly fluff, but soon it’s going to get dark, and then it’s going to get very dark. If you’re sensitive to violence, I would recommend looking up the bare-bones outline of what happened in Oradour-Sur-Glane in June of 1944 so that you’ll know if this fic might end up being too much for you. Just remember that we’re talking about Nazis here, and nobody besides Mel Brooks has ever been able to make Nazis anything other than terrifying.
I’d like to suggest, if you can, listening to Artie Shaw’s “Begin the Beguine” and Glenn Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade” while you read the New Year’s scene. it’s what I played while I wrote it, and those songs set the mood quite nicely.
ORADOUR-SUR-GLANE, HAUTE-VIENE, FRANCE
LATE DECEMBER 1943
The cafe, Mulder finds during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, is an entirely different place by daylight. Aside from being brighter and warmer, it’s also more crowded. He’s surprised by how many of the daytime patrons are locals, and when he asks Scully about it (in a quick, stolen moment as she’s bustling between tables), she explains that most of the townspeople prefer not to go out in the evening at all. Spender wasn’t joking about the punishment for breaking curfew being harsh. It’s just not worth the risk to be out too close to curfew, should something come up to prevent getting home in time.
Mulder is also surprised that so many of the townspeople can afford the luxury of daily coffee and pastries, but it takes him less than a day to notice that Scully is not taking payment from most of them. From spending so many evenings here, Mulder already knows she’s doing a decent business off of the soldiers that pack the place every night, and his heart swells with admiration and affection when he realizes that Scully is, in fact, running a de facto soup kitchen, using money from the occupying force to alleviate the suffering of the very people the Germans are trying to starve.
She is, without a doubt, the most amazing woman he has ever known, and if he was at all unsure about his feelings before, being suddenly deprived of their nightly conversations has made everything quite clear to him.
He is absolutely and irretrievably in love with her.
Since being placed on nighttime guard duty by Spender, five days ago, Mulder has developed a new routine. He is relieved from his post at five o'clock every morning and returns to his tent to sleep for the shortest possible time he needs to remain functional. Somewhere between nine and ten in the morning, he wakes, washes, and heads straight for Cafe Pequod. He remains there for the entire day, eating all his meals there (and insisting on paying- he has threatened to return to camp for his meals if she keeps returning his money), and stealing any opportunity to talk to Scully. By six in the evening, he is back at his post, doing his best not to dwell too much on how much he would rather be elsewhere.