Champagne and Caviar

Champagne and Caviar

By Humbuggie

A VS10 Challenge

© 2003

san@sv-tales.com

The challenge: write a shortstory under 35K revolving

around the theme Valentine’s Day.

Was it a struggle? Yes! ?

Story: Mulder has a special Valentine’s Day planned for his

partner, but you didn’t expect that to go well, did you?

Type: MSR (sans sex), MT

Champagne and Caviar

I bought Scully champagne and caviar; both clichés to

celebrate a special occasion, but effective ones. She’ll never

expect me to do such a thing; in fact, I made pretty damn

sure she thought I had forgotten all about Valentine’s Day. I

have to admit: last year I almost did.

But not this year. Nope: this time I had something

extraordinary planned that will swipe her off her feet and

hopefully straight into my eager arms. So I found myself

standing in the small and cosy delicatessen shop two blocks

away from my apartment building, to buy my partner-in-life-

and-crime everything I believe she deserves.

Scully is particularly not a woman of luxuries but when they

are offered to her, she is usually very impressed. So I

decided that this year I would also invest time and cash in

this money-sucking special day.

I always liked getting her things. In fact, I buy them all the

time. Yes, I know you don’t think I’m a romantic, but I am.

Sometimes. I admit though that I was never keen on

Valentine’s Day.

I always found the ‘forced special occasions’ as I call them to

be over-exaggerated. Why do you have to give someone

something today, and not tomorrow, for example? Why not

celebrate every day that you have with the one you love?

Alas, Scully does like these types of days and after last

year’s – when I had almost forgotten it – I decided to do

something out of the ordinary today. So, for this Valentine’s,

I ordered a cute little Miranda-teddy bear that I found in an

online-shop. It arrived early this morning: a beautiful grey

cuddly thing with a cute, little white T-shirt. I know that she

will absolutely adore this. Hell, even I love it and I’m not a

woman.

I bought her another teddy too: a diaphanous one. Black

and gorgeous and absolutely stunningly looking on a petite

woman like her. She’ll love that even more than the

Miranda-bear. I do know my partner well, you know.

But of course gifts don’t complete a perfect Valentine’s and I

took advantage of the fact not many aliens are invading

planet Earth at this time. I took my time in the delicatessen

shop and tried out all the little nibbles the store manager

has set out for the occasion: French cheeses and wines,

Belgian chocolates, truffles, special oils and vinegars and

carefully toasted bread. There were oysters too but I swoosh

past them.

I’ve never liked the looks of oysters but the store manager –

celebrating his fifth anniversary right here in DC – offered

them to me with a gracious smile.

“These are rare Gulf oysters,” a beautiful brunette shop

assistant added as a sales pitch as if I am supposed to be an

authority on the subject. “They are rarely served in

restaurants these days but I can assure you that they taste

fabulous. Here, try one. Your wife will love them.”

“No thanks,” I said friendly, smirking at the ‘wife’-comment.

But the shop assistant kept on insisting that I should buy

some for Scully.

“Women generally love oysters,” she added to finish off her

pitch.

She spoke the magic words of course and I did decide earlier

that I would give Scully anything she would like. So what’s

the harm in buying a few oysters as well? If they truly are

sexually arousing, as the shop manager winked in my

direction, I could not leave them there, could I?

Despite the woman’s insistence to buy even more cheeses

and chocolates and whatever, I finally left with what I came

for: caviar and champagne, and a few oysters on the side

for tonight’s starters. After that, dinner would be served.

I wasn’t exactly an expert cook and of course she’s not just

getting the champagne and caviar. So I ordered a full dinner

from the caterer that lives down the block. Dinner will be

served at eight. And after that – well, you get the picture.

Let’s just say that import strawberries with chocolate crème

will complete the task.

Early this morning I called Scully and asked her to come to

my place around seven. We were supposed to be leaving on

a late flight to LA for a new case, I explained, having her

moan and groan at the injustices of life. Of course I didn’t

mention Valentine’s at all, knowing that this would piss her

off slightly.

She’ll be in for the shock of her life!

Yes, I admit it: I’m feeling quite content with myself. If

Scully thinks I won’t be able to surprise her anymore, she’s

wrong.

I showered around six and tried to ignore the acid feeling

building up in my stomach that warned me I was very much

hungry; I sort of skipped lunch today. Since Scully wasn’t in

the office to warn me, I had completely forgotten to take a

break. Skinner had wanted me to finish off two reports that I

had lying around for the past days and I wanted to finish off

early.

I nibbled on a cookie after drying off and changed into my

sexiest outfit: Scully’s favourite boxers and black turtleneck

sweater above a brand new blue jeans. I know Scully’s crazy

about me this way and I added a little of fabulous new Boss

aftershave to complete the process.

I hope she hurries.

I lingered around in the kitchen and prepared our starters.

The seven oysters I bought were lying around on a plate and

I watched them in awe: slippery little suckers dancing on

shells. I wondered what they taste like. Were they really

sexually arousing?

Finally, I couldn’t resist the curiosity anymore: I just had to

try one. Besides, I had to test if they tasted good. If they

were horrible – as I expected – I could always throw them

away and pretend I didn’t just spend half my income on

them.

“Bottoms up,” I said out loud, having a glass of water ready

just in case. And the oyster slipped from its shell into my

mouth. I could feel the sucker slither down my throat and

am suddenly absolutely appalled. What is this: a

delicatessen? My goodness, it tasted horrible!

The strange taste lingered on for quite a bit. I’ll never forget

this one, I think after I emptied two glasses of water and

nibbled on another cookie to get rid of the flavour.

The oyster actually worsens the burning acid feeling inside

my nearly empty stomach. Horrible! Just horrible!

I shoved the oysters back in the fridge amongst the other

food I haven’t touched in weeks and wiped my mouth.

Suddenly she knocked on the door.

Ah yes, this is it.

“Mulder?” Scully asked before I could open the door for her.

I deliberately blocked her view so that she would not see I

have set the coffee table with candles. She looked at me,

wondering why I wasn’t wearing a suit.

“Do we really have to leave tonight?” she groaned before

she even realized what I had in store for her. I smiled when

I noticed the way she was dressed: I love it when she wears

one of those gorgeous black outfit that express every curve

of her body.

She had a hair cut last week and her locks were dancing on

her shoulders, waving with every move she made. She wore

a light dash of make-up, just enough to accentuate her

eyes.

I smiled. “No, we don’t have to leave tonight.”

“What -?”

I stepped aside and watched as she froze in my door

opening when she noticed what I had done. Then she stared

from me to the coffee table and back. Only then she saw

that I was holding a single red rose in my hand. It’s the

smaller things in life that do the trick.

Graciously I offered her the rose.

“What -?” she repeated and I know it worked: she had

absolutely no idea.

“Milady.” I offered her my hand and she took it.

For the very first time in her life she is stunned. She opened

and closed her mouth, staring at me as if I have been

replaced by a clone. She does not know what to say. She is

speechless.

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” I grinned broadly.

“I thought you’d forgotten,” she said and I pulled her inside.

I took her in my arms and kissed her gently. She dropped

her bag on the floor and gasped slightly before our mouths

touch.

I took her by the hand and pulled her further inside. Then

she saw the bottle of champagne standing next to the

candles, and the small portions of caviar that I had arranged

on a china dish.

“This is amazing,” she spoke in awe. “How did you – why –”

“You thought I don’t have a romantic bone in me, did you?”

I grinned. “Guess again.”

“But I don’t have anything for you – I was pissed that we

had to leave tonight and I didn’t –”

“Don’t say a word.” I placed my fingers on her lips and

pulled her close to me. She grasped me and we just stood

there, perfectly still. I took in her scent and she did mine.

She truly was speechless.

“Sit down,” I whispered and she did. I knelt on the floor by

her side and pulled my first gift from underneath the couch.

She looked at the wrappings, tore it up and grinned when

she saw the Miranda-teddy.

“This is beautiful! Where did you get this?”

“I went online shopping,” I smiled.

“You set this up the whole time, did you?”

“Yep.”

“And what if we had been on a case?”

“Then the teddy would have gone with us.”

I smiled mysteriously. “There is another gift that you won’t

be getting now. It will have to wait until after dinner.”

“Another gift?”

“Yeah, but you could call that one a present for me. I figured

you wouldn’t be getting me anything so I bought myself a

little something.”

She roared with laughter. “Porn movies, Mulder?”

I laughed. “Maybe. But something tells me you’ll like this

even better.”

Within five minutes we were both completely at ease with

each other, chatting and talking about so many things as we

usually did, but I did start to build up that horrible acid

feeling in my stomach again. I couldn’t compare it with a

hunger feeling. In fact, it felt almost painful.

I tried to lean comfortably against the couch and fed my

partner little portions of caviar. She laughed at my

clumsiness. I poured two glasses of champagne too.

“A toast,” I stated. “To many more years to come.”

She smiled and kissed me before drinking hungrily. I

laughed.

“Thirsty for more, Agent Scully?”

“Mulder, you are so crazy,” Scully roared and I could tell she

was getting slightly drunk. An empty stomach and loads of

champagne do that to you. “I never thought we would end

up doing this some day.”

“You ain’t seen nothing yet,” I smiled. “In fact, tonight is

going to be a night to remember forever.”

“I hope so.” She leaned hungrily into me and her hands start

caressing my chest. I knew where she was heading and

grinned broadly as I pushed her away.

“Hey, dinner comes first.”

“You made us dinner?”

“Erm, I phoned for dinner, does that count?”

She burst into laughter and embraced me. “My god, you are

wonderful. I love you so much.”

“Now that’s quite a reward,” I grinned, leaned back and

experienced a first sharp headache that cut through me like

a knife. I forced back the feeling, ate some caviar myself

and enjoyed Scully’s excitement. This truly was a night to

remember.

I rose up and felt a floating sensation as I poured more

champagne into our glasses. Damn, I’m getting old if I can’t

even take one glass of it anymore, I think, swaying slightly

on my feet.

I drank a bit more and shook off the dizziness. And Scully

kept on drinking champagne. She liked bubbles.

At that exact moment a hard knock on the door startled us.

“Dinner is served,” I smiled and swayed towards the door.

Scully laughed at my inability to stay straight on my feet

and I realized she was experiencing the same dizziness too,

brought on by the bubbles.

Champagne danced around my stomach and there I was:

feeling drunk as hell. And Scully leaned back on the couch

and roared with laughter. I knew I could do anything with

her tonight. She was giggling like a child. I should have

waited with the champagne until she had eaten something.

“Thanks,” I said, offering the delivery boy a ten dollar tip. He

tapped his cap, bared a mouth with a set of missing teeth

and disappeared. I swayed back towards the living room and

placed down the paper dishes carefully on the coffee table.

By then Scully was stone drunk. I swear!

She was laughing, giggling and chatting.

I watched her and laughed with her, at the same time

becoming disoriented. The room started dancing with me. I

swayed on my feet while Scully somehow managed to place

food on two plates. I watched her and realized I could not

eat a single bite. Everything ached.

I suddenly felt like throwing out everything inside my

stomach. I turned towards her to tell her I was going to

leave for a second but wasn’t even able to tell her that

anymore. Instead, I rushed towards the bathroom and

managed to pull the toilet seat up just before I threw up the

little bit of champagne, caviar and oyster I had in me. And

apart from that followed bile. Lots and lots of it. What a way

to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

I sighed and leaned back against the seat, too tired to even

care that Scully had stumbled into the bathroom and was

staring at me strangely. “You’re drunk,” she lulled and looks

pale around the edges.

I wasn’t. Somehow I knew I was not drunk. Something was

struggling hard inside of me to get out, and that something

had to be the oyster. Even though most of it was out of me

now, I felt like it was still killing me.

I turned towards her, sat back heavily and groaned, “I think

I need a doctor.”

That sobered her up alright.

And so we ended up in hospital on Valentine’s Night.

I am not on a respirator, but an oxygen mask helps me to

breath. I suck in the air because it’s difficult to take deep

breaths and have my body work on its own. My mouth, arms

and legs tingle and I feel extremely weak. The constant

headache has been reduced to something that can be called

annoying. But at least it’s not destructive anymore. The

doctor told me I had a lot of good fortune on my side. Had I

not thrown up, I would have been off much worse. If I had

waited to come to hospital, I might have died. Yes, it was

that bad.

I ate the wrong type of oysters.

The doctor explains to me that this particular sort has been

proven to be very destructive in the past and is not served

in restaurants anymore. But there are still a lot of chefs who

take the risk because they taste excellent and are the best

of the best.

But they can also kill people. When you have the

unfortunate luck of eating a poisoned oyster, like I have

done, you are lucky to be alive. Of course shellfish poisoning

can be treated. But it can also kill.

I had the unfortunate luck of eating the best of the best.

Look where it got me. I’ll never forget the taste of oysters,

that’s for sure.

Scully sighs deeply as she sits by my side while I rest up on

a private room and try to ignore the last bits of nausea that

continue to creep up now and then. I don’t know if she sighs

because of me, or because of the splitting after-the-bubbles-

headache she is experiencing. I hope it’s the latter.

Finally she gives up and crawls into bed with me, holding

onto me as we both fall asleep. She is not exactly wearing

the diaphanous teddy or anything that looks like it, but at

least she is beautiful as ever, and made me laugh.

In the morning, as I am waking up with bright sunlight

dancing on my face, Scully wakes up too feeling the way she

looks: hung over.

And I smile, take her in my arms and kiss her.

“Next time, just buy me a porn video,” she smiles.

The End

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