What does Scully do when Mulder has had a particularly bad day?
She slips out to the corner convenience store to get real cream for his coffee. He’ll never admit it, but he hates to drink it black. He’s also susceptible to doughnuts, especially crullers, and there’s a bakery that sells black and whites that send him into raptures.
She has a private file full of clips of things she’s saved that might pique his interest. She’s spent a lot of Saturday nights trawling the more conspiracy-minded corners of the internet, finding blurry photos of alleged Bigfoot sightings and compiling a list of UFO accounts she thinks he hasn’t read yet. She’ll casually mention them when he’s in a dark mood.
She also has a file of poetry. Mulder likes Byron and Mary Oliver and Pablo Neruda. She slowly collects words for him: lovely verses and strange ones.
She tunes the radio to a classic rock station and he croons along in a rough voice, occasionally jamming out via air guitar.
She curls close to him in bed, tucking his hand over her heart.
She helps him install a basketball hoop behind their garage on a mysterious flat pad of concrete. She is very bad at basketball, but they play Horse and she jostles against him to make him feel like he has a worthy opponent.
She listens to him tell ghost stories and shivers at all the right parts.
She joins him in the shower and scrubs the broad span of his back and shoulders.
She argues with him, planting a flag for reason and rationalism and letting him try to capture it.
She gets him to run with her to the park; there’s always a dog with a ball or a frisbee that needs to be guided back toward its owner.
She builds a fire and they sit on the couch reading, their feet touching in the middle, or they watch the snow fall from the comfort of the porch, the two of them wrapped in one blanket and sharing a hot toddy.
She strokes his hair.
She buys him a new copy of Plan Nine From Outer Space; she’s memorized most of it.
She lets him have his private moments to mourn the lives they’ve lost along the way. But she always knocks on the door after an appropriate interval, always brings him back to the light. She tells him, with words or without, that she won’t leave again, as long as they can keep their promises to each other.
She keeps a bag of sunflower seeds in her car.