Champagne and Caviar
A VS10 Challenge
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
I smiled. “No, we don’t have to leave tonight.”
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
“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
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?”
“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.”
“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
She roared with laughter. “Porn movies, Mulder?”
I laughed. “Maybe. But something tells me you’ll like this
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
“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
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
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.