How would Scully react to Mulder dropping a condom wrapping in the office?
not fucking well, dude. i just realized this wasn’t in the office, sorry!
set… post one son.
She misses him. This detail is what sometimes turns that steady simmer of annoyance – always present, even on their best days, it’s just elemental to feel whittled and weakened by him, just as it is to feel his necessity – into a rapid, unforgiving boil. And she loathes it as much as he does. This anger wears her down. This anger makes her stupid. She is weighed by it, can’t control it. And when she misses him, it’s even harder to rationalize.
But how could she not miss him? Mulder rewrites everything she has ever known about companionship. There is a seeking missile in him that works and works to pinpoint all that Dana Scully is missing in her life, and then it works to fill it.
And he is sweet. Oh, he is sweet. The gentler side of Mulder is actually all grit: the sandpaper of it smooths her out, those rugged, wary edges of her oscillating mistrust. He doesn’t listen. He never listens. He is his own first thought when he wakes up and he is the one he falls asleep to. He betrayed her. But he helps her with her coat at the end of a long work day. He is patient with her, does not take her resentment for granted. He is a shock-absorber for her bitterness. A continent-jumper, all in her honor. He carries on with his half of their partnership as if nothing had changed, his unshakable optimism imploring her that it really hadn’t. He flirts with her. He fights with her. He gets her coffee right.
But this morning he takes it further. She begins to wonder how deep her hostility cuts him – she begins to worry. He comes into the office in a rumpled suit, his face unshaven. He downs aspirin and coffee in three hour intervals. It had been almost a year since she had seen him this disheveled, back when he had nothing to believe in.
Except for her.
He clings to her. In every other way but physically, finds a million different things to talk about, fills up even the healthy silences with his rambling chatter. “Scully?” he asks. Every time she takes too long to answer. “Scully?” And that total relief when she looks up to reply. He stays in the basement for lunch, eats nothing, when she tells him she brought her lunch with her. Follows her when she checks on results from the print lab. She’s annoyed, but mostly bewildered. Then there’s the physical. His hand on her back, yes, but her shoulders, too, her wrists. It bothers her that she doesn’t mind it so much. She can’t remember the last time she really had to take care of Mulder.
“Are you alright?” she runs her hand through his hair. She misses that, too. He looks up at her, startled, but quickly molds his face into something more neutral.
“Just not feeling well, Scully.”
She doesn’t press. She’s too doubtful of her place in Mulder’s life too often, these days. But she does let him cling. She softens her voice when she speaks to him. She doesn’t brush him off, she let’s go of all of the hurt, at least for the day. He seems more than grateful for it, almost to the point of awe. It bothers her… that she doesn’t mind it so much. That she needs to be needed like this.
At the end of the day, they’re putting on their coats. Their quiet is easy and Mulder, for the most part, appears recuperated. He drapes her in her wool, like always, keeps his hands on her for a little longer than necessary. She waits for him while he slips into his suit jacket, figuring they might as well ride out together.
“I was thinking… about those prints they lifted from the victim’s car. There’s something off about the sebaceous composition. The lab says they’ve never seen it before.” She lets him lead her to her car in the bustling garage, handing out her peace offering without the hint of a smile. “Why don’t you come over and explain to me why that means it couldn’t possibly be terrestrial in nature?”
His face lights up. God, damn him. She feels like she’s been kicking a puppy in the same tender spots for months and months. “Scully, I thought you’d never ask.” He reaches into his pocket for his own keys. “I’ll bring pizza. You still eat that, right? If you think I’m going to argue with a Dana Scully fueled on nothing but coffee and granola – shit.” Not paying attention, his keys fall to the ground with a metal splatter.
“Here, let me – “ she bends down to scoop them up, but freezes when her eyes hit the concrete.
That dark, primordial filth inside of her, the rigid tension in her protoplasm. She blacks out, like she always does. In these moments she only has the capacity to feel everything wrong. She slowly picks up the keys, and the empty condom wrapper along with it.
“Scully,” Mulder says. “Scully.”
He uses too many words. The details of an event write themselves on his face so plainly. In ruined seconds she pieces out, from his guilty, avoidant eyes and the slowness with which he forms his thoughts, what happened, who it happened with. A full case report with only a mental photograph. Her grip around the keys and wrapper tightens, but he won’t take them from her. So she lets them fall back on the floor.
She never remembers what it’s like to hate someone this much. What inspires a woman to run her lover over with her car, empty out her gun into his heart, play in the meat left over. She’s in her car before she knows it, yanking the door out of his hands with less force than she meant for. In that moment, she doesn’t miss him.