drabble; pg-13; msr origins (i.e. friendship); FLUFF; set season two, pre-abduction; Scully stays up a little too late solving a case with Mulder.
Even the solitary light from the fish tank feels a little risky, though his apartment passed so many of the gunmen’s bug sweeps he’s now pretty sure they just wanted to hang out. With a crappy pair of birdwatching binoculars anybody could look in and find them there. Sitting right next to the tank her face is cast in blue and shadows over and looks a little psychedelic. Watching her mouth move around hypersyllabic words like ileus and meconium is a lot like a day trip he took at Oxford. But at this time of night the world itself is also hazy and unreal; this is his time, his realm, the only part of day that brings him a little peace. Normally he spends this time alone. He finds her presence isn’t such a nuisance.
And it’s not as if anyone in the Bureau actually cares anymore. They have been declared Impotent and A Sad Sad Joke. How many times has he showed up in her lecture hall unkempt and uncaring, sporting his hair wild on purpose and miserable eyes, less purposeful but nevertheless useful? He likes upsetting her students, who have all heard plenty of stories about good old Spooky, respectable Dr. Scully’s maniac ex-partner. She would slice and dice and maim the dearly departed and try not to laugh as he hissed at anyone who stopped paying attention and dared looking his way.
When the shitstorm settles he consults her on cases and neglects Agent Krycek like a Christmas puppy. It’s not like there’s anything wrong with Agent Krycek; he’s a shoo in for S.A.C. of some bullshit unit that receives way more funding than the files ever did, what with his penchant for every-inch-of-both-cheeks ass kissing and the size of his biceps. Mulder will only get in his way. He figures he’s saving the kid some pain.
Anyway, Agent Krycek can’t look at macramed intestines and tell him if they appear to be the intricate work of a voodoo priestess. Scully can’t tell him that either, would die before saying such a thing, but it’s way more fun to try and make her.
They’ve been at it for three hours and Mulder is getting to the best part, using polaroids instead of his slides to illustrate – something about colorectal balloon animals in the 1970s – when he turns to find Scully gently tipping forward and nodding her head. Her eyes flutter shut and she slumps over.
He quickly catches her by grabbing her shoulder with one hand and using the other to cup her cheek. “Scully? Hey.” He taps her face twice. “Scully, are you okay?”
Her eyes snap open and she scrambles back into the couch, her wide eyed stare flitting around the room like a sightless moth. When she comes back to herself, she shoots him an apologetic look.
“I’m sorry Mulder,” she says, rubbing at a sore spot on her neck. She winces. “I must have fallen asleep.”
He stares at her oddly. Scully falls asleep anywhere anytime at the drop of a hat or her blood sugar, but she has never, ever done it mid-conversation. Not even that time he talked at her for a straight hour on his own by himself without noticing that she had started taking notes to formulate her responses.
His eyes fall on the clock and it hits him: its’s one o'clock in the goddamn morning. Scully has a new life now, classes to teach and dead bodies to harass and other, lesser units to appease, and she’s spending time with him like nothing has changed. When did he approach her with this case? He can’t remember, only because he hadn’t bothered keeping track. Before lunch, definitely, and they’d been together the entire time after. Scully is effectively splitting herself in two, her life with him and her life without him, and in this realm at this hour she is still his partner and the idea of her at Quantico is an empty threat when he sticks her with all the filing.
“You need to go to bed,” he gently chides, scooping up his polaroids and newspaper clippings and their mugs gone cold on the coffee table.
“Mmm, I think you’re right,” she says around a yawn, stretching and popping her limbs one by one. The sound makes him cringe. “I don’t know if my bed has ever sounded so appealing.”
He’s too caught in his own head to respond with an inappropriate zinger. He places the mugs in his sink, drops the photos back in their file.
“Take the couch,” he says distractedly, tugging on a doorknob. With much effort he’s able to strong arm his way through the tremendous clutter and cardboard-box war zone that is his bedroom without alerting her to how pathetic he is. He nearly breaks his neck slipping on a stack of vintage porno mags, but there in the middle of a decrepit bed frame rests exactly what he’s looking for: a sleeping bag and a stack of extra pillows .
With trademark focus he ignores her protestations and sets up his station, throwing down pillows that will support the weak spots in his spine and unrolling the bag like a good little camper.
“Mulder, seriously. There’s no need for this.” But she’s slurring and her body is so heavy she can’t stay upright. “ I can drive home just fine. Let me make myself some coffee. You’re being ridiculous. This is where you sleep.”
“Just go to bed, Scully,” he tells her. He repeats it when she says no. Time for bed Scully. Get some sleep. I’ll wake you up early. And she eventually does fall asleep, succumbs to the mental exhaustion of arguing with him.
In a fashion that creeps him out a little he stares at her well into deep sleep, propped against the doorway between the kitchen and the living room. He feels tired just looking at her, the yearning to lie down calling to him a little more urgently than he’s used to.
Before he crawls into his bag he stands before her, looking into her slack and open face. It’s crazy and weird and definitely spooky. But this is driving him nuts. He leans down and slowly brushes an errant lock of hair out of her eye. Okay. Good.
Crawling into his bag he understands what’s bogging him down. Dana Scully is not living her double life as his partner, but as his friend. And somewhere along the line he became hers, too.
I really LOVE the Beauty and the Beast remake, but I wish the producers would have included the song "Human Again" where the servants would imagine themselves when the curse was broken and perform the song in their human forms.
You know what I find maddening. Rich kids in school uniforms. It isn’t fair. They’re not as smart as anyone else. At all. And yet, they win scholarships and eat spaghetti. With meatballs. FOR LUNCH. I want to go to University. A prestigis one, like Harvard Law School, or Political Science. I don’t know where the best schools for politics are, so I can’t say where I’d go for that. And here’s my life plan.
16 - Audition for Canadian Idol if it’s still around then.
18 - Graduate from high school
19 - Apply to good universities, work at Mcdonald’s
20 - Go to university, work at McDonald’s
24 - Graduate from University, work at McDonald’s
25 - Meet Mr. Right, work at McDonald’s
26 - Marry Mr. Right, get a real job.
30 - Have a little girl
32 - Write a book.
40 - Become a millionaire, buy every American Girl doll and all Sims expansion packs.