A Preponderance of the Evidence: Prelim (Part 3 of 3)
Rating: R (For adult themes)
Timeline: Post-ep for Never Again and Memento Mori.
Mulder tosses and turns as minutes trickle into hours, entertaining himself by memorizing the way shadows dip and swirl across the ceiling to the sound of traffic gradually overtaking the steady metronome of Scully’s breathing. He kicks the sheets off at one point, frustrated when they cling to his legs with a crackle of electricity, his body still charged with the current of all the things he hasn’t said.
Morning finally comes.
The late winter storm has retreated overnight, leaving the sun and blue sky to glare into the room as if demanding the two of them acknowledge that day has dawned. They’ve ended up facing one another on their respective beds, and Mulder is watching Scully’s face when her eyes snap open seconds before the alarm goes off. He sees her focus as the haze of sleep retreats, and doesn’t bother to look away when she finds him staring at her.
Slipping past one another in the bathroom and their room, they’re comfortable enough with the dance of the other’s morning routine that they don’t even need to speak. Mulder shaves while Scully showers; Scully leaves the water running when she steps out with a towel wrapped securely around her body. She finds that Mulder has wiped the fog away from the mirror in a perfect circle where she can stand to apply her makeup; Mulder discovers that Scully has hung his suit and tie from a hook on the back of the bathroom door.
They catch a cab to the courthouse and arrive almost half an hour before they’re supposed to meet with ADA Venegas. At a small coffee cart out front, Mulder buys them both coffees and wordlessly hands a banana nut muffin to Scully. He frets until she rolls her eyes and eventually nibbles the top off before handing him the rest.
They’re sitting outside a long row of courtrooms when Scully makes eye contact with a young woman in an impeccably tailored grey skirt-suit who’s speaking animatedly to a uniformed police officer. The woman nods at them, and they both stand.
Clicking her way towards them in towering high heels, the petite brunette smiles and extends her hand. She’s even shorter than Scully by a good two inches, although her shoes bring them almost eye-to-eye.
“I’m ADA Regina Flores-Venegas. Thanks so much for coming down on such short notice.”
Scully nods and takes Venegas’s hand, shaking it firmly. “This is my partner, Fox Mulder.”
Venegas looks up at Mulder and her lips quirk into a bashful smile.
“Ah, Agent Mulder. Nice to finally meet you. Sorry for being so curt with you on the phone the other day. I was…a little stressed out.” She shrugs and holds her hand out to him.
Mulder grasps it and narrows his eyes, frowning at her. “Not a problem, I understand. If you could get Agent Scully on the stand first thing, we’d really appreciate it. She has a doctor’s appointment back in Washington this afternoon.”
Venegas looks back to Scully, curiosity flashing in her eyes as they study one another. “No problem. I can call you out of order and get you up on the stand first thing. Have you had a chance to review your report?”
Nodding, Scully sips her coffee and waves a few stapled sheets of paper up as proof. “Yes, I have. I’m good to go.”
Venegas glances over her shoulder as the bailiff steps out of their courtroom and catches her eye, motioning to her. “Great. That’s me. Just have a seat in the hallway where I’ll be sure to see you, and I’ll have you in and out of here in a jiffy. You’re free to go once you’re done with your testimony.” Tilting her head in close to Scully, she lowers her voice so that Mulder has to crane his neck to hear over the din of the hallway. “And Dana, remember what we talked about on the phone. Expect some pretty…intimate questions from defense. I’ll be doing my best to make sure they don’t overstep their bounds.”
With a toss of her long, wavy brown hair over her shoulder, Venegas clips away and disappears into the courtroom.