Just Me and You

This story is based on characters created by

Chris Carter and Ten Thirteen Productions.

Characters used without permission. No

infringement intended.

TITLE: Just Me and You

AUTHOR: Jo-Ann Lassiter

EMAIL ADDRESS: Jolassi555@cs.com

DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Two weeks exclusive on

VS10. Then post anywhere. Thanks.

RATING: PG-13

CLASSIFICATION: S, R

SUMMARY: When another agent keeps hitting on

Scully, Mulder and Scully decide to take

advantage of his inability to take “No” for an

answer.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Written for VS11 Valentine’s Day

Challenge. M&S are a couple, but only Skinner is

aware of their relationship.

THANKS: To Gerry, for the super-speedy beta!

Los Angeles Field Office

Conference Room “A”

Feb 11

10:52 a.m.

“Whoa!”

The lust-filled exclamation came from the blond-

haired, blue-eyed muscle-beach type to Mulder’s

left. When he looked up to see what had so

captured the other agent’s attention, his eyes

lit up when he saw who it was. “Put your tongue

back in your mouth, move down one seat, and I

just might introduce you, Evans.”

Mulder had flown to the L.A. office two days ago

as part of a ten-day terrorism task force.

Scully had been invited, too, but a prior

obligation at Quantico had delayed her

departure.

Mulder had almost laughed when Skinner informed

them that their expertise in domestic terrorism

had qualified them for the task force. Mulder

had always referred to that period in their

careers as ‘shit patrol.’ Who knew that

investigating all those ‘piles of manure’ would

lead to their becoming ‘experts’ in the field of

domestic terrorism?

“You know her?” Evans asked, nudging Mulder with

his elbow at the exact moment Scully spotted

him. The smile she gave him had the dual

pleasure of cheering him up and making muscle

boy’s mouth drop open in astonishment.

As Scully was approaching him, she frowned at

the already-filled seats on both sides of him.

Mulder whispered to Evans, “You gonna move, or

do you want to remain in the dark about the

lovely Agent Scully?”

Evans leered at Scully while he answered Mulder.

“I think I can find out on my own, Mulder. Given

the choice between me and Agent Bulldog over

there, who do you think she’ll choose to

converse with?”

“You’d be surprised,” Mulder said under his

breath, none too pleased that he’d be denied the

opportunity to play footsie with his partner

after two whole days’ absence.

Mulder never wanted to hug Scully more than when

she reached the two of them, took in the empty

chair to Evans’s left, smiled sweetly and said

to the tanned hunk, “Would you mind sliding over

so that I can sit next to my partner?”

Grinning like a fool as Evans had no choice but

to comply, Mulder pulled out the chair for her

after a much-subdued Evans settled in the empty

chair. “Have a good flight?” he asked her.

Eyes darting to the agent still giving Scully

his full attention, she answered, “It was a

little boring, actually. Not even a crying baby

on hand to break the monotony.”

Receiving her underlying message loud and clear,

Mulder nodded in understanding. His flight out

had been lonely, and he’d missed her, too.

The clearing of a throat next to Scully

disturbed their reunion; Mulder schooled his

expression not to reflect the scowl he wanted to

wear at the other man’s interruption. “Something

I can do for you, Evans?” he asked.

“I believe you were going to introduce me?” the

agent said.

“That was if you moved when I asked you to. You

didn’t.”

Still facing Mulder, her back to the other

agent, Scully raised her eyebrows before turning

in her seat. She offered her right hand to

Evans. “I’m Dana Scully, Mulder’s partner.”

Evans took her hand and raised it to his lips.

“Paul Evans,” he said, kissing the back of her

hand. Some of the agents gathered at the long

conference table snickered, while others

groaned. Mulder wasn’t certain what to make of

it, but he knew he didn’t like it.

The female agent to Mulder’s right–Robertson,

Mulder thought her name was–elbowed him. “You

might want to warn your partner. Evans thinks

he’s Romeo, Don Juan and Casanova all rolled

into one. Not that he’s wrong about that, mind

you, but…” The agent glanced at Evans. “He’s a

little short in the scruples department–at

least where it comes to women. He’ll ask her out

even if she’s married; even if she tells him

flat out she’s not interested, he’ll keep at it

until he gets his way–and he usually does.”

Mulder was appalled. “Married women consent to

go out with him? Why?”

The agent looked at Mulder as if he was a total

blockhead. “Are you kidding? Look at him! He’s

gorgeous!”

“But that shouldn’t matter,” Mulder sputtered.

“If she loves her husband–”

“They can’t help themselves, Agent Mulder.

There’s something about him…” The agent was

lost in thought for a moment before she shook

herself out of it. Sighing, she met his eyes.

“Trust me. I know several married women who’ve

gone out with him.” She glanced at Scully and

Evans conversing in low tones. “Once Paul turns

on the charm, it’s like one switch gets turned

off, and another gets turned on.” She gazed at

him pointedly. “And I do mean ‘turned on.’

So…” She glanced at Scully again. “If she

means as much to you as I think she does, you’d

better keep her away from him.”

Though concerned that Robertson may have guessed

at his and Scully’s relationship, Mulder was

more concerned about her revelations. Surely no

one man could have that much natural persuasive

ability? Certainly not ever over his Scully. She

loved him too much to ever betray him like that.

“Hey,” he said, tapping her hand. “The meeting’s

about to start. Do you want to grab some lunch

afterward?”

“Excuse me, Paul,” Scully said to Evans, and he

broke off mid-sentence with a frown marring his

perfect features. When she turned to Mulder with

a relieved look on her face, and rolled her eyes

with no mistaking that it was intended for

Evans, Mulder’s spirits lifted considerably.

“What did you say, Mulder?”

He couldn’t prevent his smile even if he’d

wanted to. “I asked if you’d like to get some

lunch with me after the meeting.”

“Well, Paul asked me to join him…”

Mulder felt his face fall at her words.

“…but I told him about those cases you and I

needed to confer over, and we’d already planned

to do it at lunch.”

Mulder brightened again. She was a quick

thinker, she was. And then he realized that he

needed to do some quick thinking of his own.

“Oh. Right. Right. I’d forgotten we’d already

set that up.” He peered around Scully to look at

the other agent who was *still* watching Scully.

“Tough luck, Evans. We have quite a few cases to

review. Should take us several days, at least.”

Evans presented him with a dazzling smile. “Not

to worry, Mulder. I’m sure I’ll find *some* way

to steal the lovely Agent Scully away for a meal

or two.”

Looking distinctly uncomfortable, Scully turned

back around so that she was facing forward in

her seat. When the moderator indicated that they

should refer to the materials in front of them,

Mulder, too, gave his attention over to the

speaker. The matter of Evans hitting on his

woman would have to be put out of his mind.

At least for the moment.

**

12:37 p.m.

The lights dimmed, the first slide was

displayed, and Scully nearly jumped out of her

skin.

His back to her, his full attention on the

presentation, Mulder never gave her a glance.

This was a fine time for him to finally become

the model agent.

Turning to the rapidly-becoming-annoying man

behind her, Scully bestowed upon him the full

extent of her glare. “What the hell do you think

you’re doing?” she whispered.

“You looked a little tense,” his smooth-as-silk

voice cooed, as he continued skimming his

fingertips along her back and side.

“Agent Evans, unless you want to be brought up

on sexual harassment charges, I suggest you

remove your hands.” When he didn’t still his

movements, she hissed, “*Now.*”

Chuckling softly, appearing not the least

intimidated by her words or by her withering

scowl, he returned his hands to rest before him

on the table, the very picture of innocence.

Trying not to scrape her chair along the floor,

Scully moved it as close to Mulder as she could

get without sitting in his lap. When Mulder

looked back quizzically, Scully shook her head

and indicated that he should continue watching

the slide show.

Still distracted by the material being shown,

Mulder nodded and faced the screen again.

Scully spent her time divided between studiously

ignoring the irritant behind her and

concentrating on the business she was there for.

She didn’t have much luck at either.

**

Conference Room “A”

1:45 p.m.

Lunch with his partner, as it happened, had not

been an option. At precisely 1:30, trays of

sandwiches, salads, cookies, and beverages had

been delivered to the conference room. They were

given a half-hour break to gather a meal, visit

the rest room, go for a smoke, etc., before they

got back to business.

After returning from the men’s room, Mulder

decided to check out the cookie tray. He

returned to his seat to find Evans monopolizing

his partner’s attention once again. This time,

however, there was a definite lapse in Scully’s

manners as she turned away from the still-

talking Evans with not even a hint of apology.

She met the question in his eyes with an

uncertain smile.

“Something wrong?” he asked so that only she

could hear.

Lips pressed tightly together, she shook her

head. “Nothing I can’t handle.” He handed her a

bakery-style chocolate chip cookie, which she

accepted with a distracted smile.

“Thanks,” she said softly. In a hushed voice she

asked, “When do we get out of here?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. This is the first

day they’ve done anything like this.”

She leaned in a little closer, after a quick

glance at her watch. “We have a few minutes yet.

Why don’t we get some air?”

Knowing that they didn’t have enough time left

to go outside and back, he nonetheless agreed.

“Sure.”

Once they were safely away from anyone else,

Scully stopped. “When we get back in there, I

want to change seats with you.”

Mulder nodded slowly. “Hit on you again, did

he?”

She looked quickly at him, then turned away.

“That’s not what bothers me.”

“He hit on you after you told him you were

seeing someone,” Mulder said flatly.

Her head snapped up. “You knew? You knew he

would do that, and you let me–”

“Hold on; hold on, Scully. I found out only

after you were already sitting next to him.

Agent Robertson told me what he would probably

do. She, uh…” He took a breath, then let it

out. “She, uh, said if you meant as much to me

as she thought you did, I’d better keep you away

from him.”

“Humph,” she sniffed. “Well, as much as I abhor

being thought of as an object in need of

protection, in this case I waive my right to be

offended if you tell him to back the hell off.

And what do you mean she said if I meant as much

to you as she thought I did? What have you been

telling these people?”

Mulder blinked, awed that she had been able to

get all that out without pausing for so much as

a breath in between thoughts. “Uh, I, uh…

didn’t tell anybody anything!” he finished a

little irritated that she had somehow managed to

make this his fault.

Scully placed a calming hand on his arm, and it

had the desired effect. He glanced down at her

hand, then back up. “I’m sorry,” he said at the

same time she said it to him.

They shared an easy laugh, and then he directed

her into the unused office in front of which

they had been talking. After closing the door,

he leaned back against it. “I don’t know how she

guessed,” he said quietly. “It’s not like I

*try* to wear my heart on my sleeve, but…” He

shrugged. “She probably saw my reaction when I

first saw you come into the conference room.”

Her eyes met his, and he adored the dreamy

quality in them as she thought back to that

moment. She smiled. “Yes, I can see where she

might have reached that conclusion.”

Mulder returned her smile, then checked the time

on his watch. “We’d better get back.”

Scully nodded, a bit regretfully, Mulder was

happy to note. “Don’t forget to run

interference,” she reminded him as they walked

back to the meeting. “I don’t want to be held

responsible for putting an agent into the

hospital.”

His hand on the doorknob to the conference room,

Mulder laughed. “The only downside to that would

be that you’d probably get suspended.”

As she moved into the room, she glanced at

Evans, who shone his million kilowatt smile her

way.

“Might be worth it,” he heard her mutter.

**

Sheraton Universal Hotel

Scully’s Room

9:36 p.m.

Emerging from the bathroom dressed in her

pajamas, Scully yawned widely. When a knock came

on the door to her room, she continued on and

threw it open, a big smile on her face for who

would be waiting on the other side.

Somewhat taken aback to find Agent Evans and his

perfect white teeth gleaming at her, she

scrambled for her robe, pulling it on and

covering up as much as she could. Damn this

hotel for putting her and Mulder on separate

floors. She would never have opened the door

without checking if they’d been in their usual

adjoining rooms. The next time she was too tired

to think about who might be lurking behind her

door, she’d make damned sure that Mulder didn’t

go anywhere so she wouldn’t have to worry about

having to think about who was behind the damned

door!

“Agent Evans,” she said, not trying to disguise

her displeasure at his unannounced–and

unwelcome–visit. “What do you want?”

His smile faltered only slightly. “I do

apologize for the late hour.” He took a step

forward, looking deep into her eyes. “But I

couldn’t stop thinking of you. I know you said

you’re seeing someone, but I just can’t help

myself. You’ve… There’s something in you that

draws me like a magnet. I can’t put a name to

it, but I’m unable to resist the pull.”

Scully wanted to roll her eyes, then figured,

what the hell, and did. He was a damned fine

actor, she’d give him that.

Apparently not used to his advances being

rejected and especially not to their being

ridiculed, the grin coalesced into an open-

mouthed stare.

Now that was more like it! Scully thought. She

wondered if this man had ever had an honest

emotion in his life. She may be witnessing a

first!

Finally gathering his wits about him, Evans held

out a white paper bag. “I was passing my

favorite chocolatier, and the image of your

enjoying that chocolate chip cookie appeared to

me.”

Now it was Scully’s turn to stare. Chocolatier?

And what the hell was he doing watching her eat?

“So I thought,” he continued, blithely, “‘I must

buy her one of Mademoiselle Francine’s

truffles.” With what could only be described as

a flair, he drew an exquisitely-wrapped box from

the bag, presenting it to her. “Then I thought,

no, a creature as elegant as the very lovely

Dana deserves an entire box.”

Trying not to guffaw at Evans’s syrupy-phony

delivery, Scully hid her laugh behind her hand

as a cough. “I’m sorry, Agent Evans–”

“Paul,” he interrupted, breathily. “I wish you’d

call me Paul.”

She had to look away before she laughed in his

face. Were women actually attracted to this

magnificent-looking, yet empty vessel of a man?

The anger she’d felt at his earlier attempts had

quickly downgraded to amusement. “Paul,” she

started, her voice shaky with repressed

laughter, “I really can’t–”

“But you must,” he insisted, shoving the box

toward her. “Even if nothing ever comes of…”

He paused dramatically. “…us…” She looked up

in time to see him batting his eyelashes like

Rudolph Valentino, then had to look back down

before she lost it. “…I want you to accept

these as a token of my esteem.”

Desperate now to get rid of him before she

laughed in his face, she grabbed the box. “Okay.

Thanks,” she said, giving him a push and closing

the door.

She stood at the door a moment, listening to his

unsteady footsteps moving away, then she threw

herself face down onto her bed and laughed

hysterically into her pillow.

Oh. My. God. After that smooth come-on, Mulder

had better keep a *really* close eye on her.

**

Scully’s Room

One minute later

Mulder used the key Scully’d given him to open

her door, freezing when he caught sight of her

on her bed, shoulders shaking and muffled cries

escaping her mouth.

Recovering quickly, he pushed the door closed

and hastened to her side. “What is it? What

happened? Are you all right?”

She shook her head, and Mulder felt tears

prickling his eyes. He laid his hands gently on

her shoulders. “What is it, honey?” he asked,

trying to keep the fear out of his voice,

especially when she started shaking harder.

“Mulder… Oh, God, Mulder. He…” More shaking

and wailing.

Catching sight of the candy box lying near her,

the pieces suddenly fell into place. “Where is

he?” he roared. “What did that son of a bitch do

to you?”

“He…” She couldn’t catch her breath, she was

crying so hard. Mulder felt torn between beating

Evans to a pulp and comforting the woman he

loved.

“Scully, honey, please…” Reaching down, he

hauled her up into his arms, free hand ready to

dry her tears.

And there were tears. Plenty of them.

But the woman for whom he was about to kill a

man was laughing. She was laughing so hard he

feared she might give herself an aneurysm.

Annoyed and relieved at the same time, he moved

her out to arm’s length. “Scully, what the

hell…”

When she met his gaze, something she saw in his

eyes must have affected her, because she sobered

almost immediately. “Oh, Mulder, I’m sorry. I

didn’t mean to worry you.”

He shrugged, then smiled sheepishly. “It’s my

job to worry about you.” His lips twitched

uncertainly. “And don’t I do it so well?”

Suddenly, she hurled herself into his arms.

“God, I love you,” she said, hugging him

tightly.

Hugging her back, happy but confused, he asked,

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

She laughed, then pressed her lips to his in a

brief, but passion-filled kiss. “I’m just so

glad you’re real.”

Mulder wondered what the hell she was talking

about. “Scully, did something happen here that I

should know about?” He remembered the box on the

bed. “Where did that candy come from?”

At his words, Scully dissolved into giggles.

“From him.”

He felt her tongue on his neck and almost forgot

his train of thought. “Who? Evans?”

“Mm hm,” she hummed against his carotid. “He got

them at his favorite chocolatier.”

Did he hear right? “Chocolatier?”

Scully let loose an honest-to-God guffaw.

“That’s what the man said.” She pulled out of

his embrace and looked into his eyes; he was

enthralled by the mirth dancing in hers.

“Truffles.” She indicated the elaborately-

decorated container, smiling smugly. “He was

going to buy one, but I merited a whole box.”

Rolling over, she snatched up the box, then

unceremoniously destroyed the intricate covering

as she ripped it off. “Want one?”

He frowned. She was offering him something

another man had given her. He wasn’t altogether

sure he liked that. It meant she’d accepted it.

“Scully–” he started, but her finger on his

lips put a stop to whatever he had thought about

saying.

“Mul-der,” she sang. “Truf-fulls.” Opening the

box, she waved it under his nose. “From a choc-

la-tier.” She took one out and placed it on her

tongue. “Mmmm…” she groaned, and Mulder

thought he might have to kiss Agent Evans the

next time he saw him. The man may be a nitwit,

but he had good taste in aphrodisiacs.

How unfortunate, Mulder thought, that Evans’s

evening hadn’t worked out as well as Mulder’s

was about to.

**

L.A. Field Office

February 12

9:06 a.m.

“Did you enjoy the truffles, Dana?” Evans asked.

She thought back to her evening with Mulder, and

the many variations they’d discovered for the

care and feeding of truffles. “Oh, yes. They

were marvelous.”

The agent beamed. “Then can I persuade you to

have dinner with me tonight?”

“Paul, I told you: I can’t. I’m seeing someone.”

“Aw, come on, Dana.” Evans shuffled his feet in

what Scully was sure he thought was an endearing

way. “It’s just dinner. You have to eat.”

She nodded. “I eat dinner alone or with my

partner.”

He pounced on that tidbit as she knew he would.

“If you can eat with him, it should be no

different to take a meal with me. We’re both

agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation,

after all.” He followed up with dazzling smile

#26.

“It is *not* the same, Paul.” She patted his

hand. “But it was a good try anyway.”

She left him with what she was sure was becoming

a new category of expression for him: open-

mouthed awe #2.

**

Feb 13

7:20 p.m.

“Come on, Mulder!” She banged on the door to his

bathroom until he emerged, all clean-shaven and

resplendent in his recently-purchased Knicks

jersey. “Hurry up, or we’ll miss the kick-off,

or whatever they call it in basketball.”

“Tipoff. It’s called the tipoff.” Grabbing his

jacket, he followed her out the door. “Tell me

again how you got Knicks/Lakers tickets?”

Turning around, she wore an expression of

exasperation. “I’ve told you three times

already.”

He couldn’t stop his grin. “Some things never

get old, Scully.”

She sighed, but he knew it was all a sham. She

loved telling it as much as he loved hearing it.

“I was in the break room when you were

‘persuaded’ to take a look at that case…”

This was the part of the story that gave Mulder

a sour taste in his mouth. While it was true

that Evans had been working on a case, the part

about possible extraterrestrial involvement had

been pure fabrication. Although wary, Mulder had

followed Evans’s partner, Bob Michaels, to his

third-floor office to take a look. After about

three minutes, Mulder realized that he’d been

set up. The ‘case’ wasn’t–it was a collection

of what Evans and Michaels thought a case

involving aliens should contain.

When he realized that the local boys were using

him to have a little fun, he’d closed the folder

and walked out of the room, Michaels calling

after him, asking him where he was going. No

longer concerned with courtesy, Mulder had just

ignored him. He’d felt like an idiot, and

wondered if the entire task force was in on it,

or only the two L.A. office agents.

Upon returning to the break room and seeing

Evans once again turning on the charm with his

partner, Mulder was actually relieved. That

meant it was most likely something Evans had

cooked up to get rid of him, not something

they’d come up with to make fun of him. He’d

settled himself on a sofa near the door, got

comfortable, and waited.

Scully had not disappointed. When she turned on

her heel and walked away, Evans had once again

been wearing the slack-jawed face that Mulder

was coming to know and love. She’d given Mulder

the eyebrow on her way out, and he’d followed

her like the trained puppy he was. Once they’d

returned to the hotel and he’d gotten

comfortable on her bed, she’d presented him with

her prize.

At first thrilled, he’d snatched them out of her

hands, marveling at the great seats. Then he

thought about it and wanted to know just how

she’d come about them. Were there any strings he

should know about? Was anything required on her

part? Had she agreed to anything he didn’t

really want to know about, but needed to anyway?

She’d shaken her head, while wearing the most

perfect Cheshire cat grin he’d ever seen. And

then she’d told him.

“I didn’t know how long you’d be, so I’d gotten

a cup of coffee and a cheese danish to tide me

over until we could get dinner.” She looked up

at him. “That’s when he intercepted me.” She

shook her head. “You know, I should feel guilty

about this, but I just can’t bring myself to

feel that way.” She shrugged. “Anyway, he

stepped right into my path. Right into my cup of

hot coffee.” Looking up into his eyes, she

sighed. “God, I was so looking forward to that

coffee.”

Mulder laughed.

“I think he was expecting sympathy… actually,

I think he stepped into that coffee

intentionally just so I’d feel bad for him…”

She waved her hands in front of her. “Never

mind. Anyway, there he was gasping and moaning

about hot coffee and a new shirt, and I stood

there, pissed off because he’d made me spill my

coffee…

“And then it must have occurred to him that I

wasn’t buying into the sympathy angle because he

buttoned his jacket over the stain, and gave me

that billion megawatt smile.”

This was one of the parts Mulder made her act

out. “Come on, Scully, let’s see it,” he prodded

her.

Smiling indulgently at him, she stuck out her

chin and gave an exaggerated version of Evans’s

‘look-at-me-I’m-stunningly-handsome’ full-

toothed smile.

Mulder couldn’t help it; he chortled. She was

just so damned cute when she was making fun of

someone who deserved it. “Go on. Go on. Tell me

what came next.”

Rolling her eyes, she shook her head. “Honestly,

Mulder. You know what happened next.”

He nodded emphatically. “But you tell it so

well.” He gave her the puppy dogs. “Please?”

She gave him a look that said she knew exactly

what he was doing, but she was going to give in

anyway. “Out of politeness, I asked him if he

was all right, and he said, ‘Not to worry, my

dear Dana.’ Then he asked me if I liked

basketball. I told him, ‘It’s okay,’ and

evidently that was good enough for him, because

he told me had two tickets for tonight’s game,

and asked me if I’d like to go.”

“For one brief second, I felt that twinge of

guilt, but I got over it fast enough once I

remembered what a slime he was. So I said,

“Sure, thanks,” took the tickets and walked

away.” She raised an eyebrow. “That’s when I saw

you by the door, and you know the rest.”

He applauded. “That is so classic, Scully. I

mean, I’ve seen it happen in a movie, but it’s

usually to some poor lovesick geek, and he’s

been taken by some callous way-out-of-his-league

cheerleader or something. But for you to do it

to that…” He searched for just the right

description.

“Sleazeball,” she provided helpfully.

He looked at her, surprised, then nodded.

“Sleazeball. He is, that and more, for hitting

on you, and right in front of me!”

“Mulder…”

“I know he doesn’t know, but he knows you belong

to *some*one, and it doesn’t matter to him. I

wish you’d let me beat him up. Just a little.”

She stared at him a bit incredulously. “Have you

taken a close look at him, Mulder? He’d kill

you!”

Mulder met her stare with one of his own. “Never

doubt the strength of a jealous man. Never doubt

that love is stronger than…” He sputtered

while trying to come up with the perfect word.

“…sleazeballs!” he finished, triumphantly.

She took hold of his arm with both her hands,

smiling up at him. “Your Oxford education is

showing,” she whispered. Then she pulled them to

a stop, stood on her tiptoes, and kissed him on

the cheek. “That’s for showing remarkable

restraint in the face of an untenable

situation.”

He was a little disappointed that that’s all he

was going to get, until he saw her wink, and

then he knew.

Even if his team didn’t win, their number one

fan was going to score tonight.

**

L.A. Field Office

February 14

2:23 p.m.

“You know, Dana, that wasn’t a very nice thing

to do.” Paul Evans cornered her in the break

room, not five seconds after Mulder left for the

men’s room. Sitting in Mulder’s seat, he moved

it to face her.

She narrowed her eyes in suspicion, wondering

how long he’d been watching them, waiting for

this opportunity when she was alone. “What you

do isn’t very nice, either, Agent Evans. I’ve

told you repeatedly that I’m seeing someone, and

yet you still insist on trying to get me to go

out with you.”

“Dana, Dana… You misunderstand me. I’m not

trying to take you away from anyone. I just want

to spend a little time with you. Share a dinner,

take in a ball game… where’s the harm in

that?”

“Rationalize it all you want. You’re still

trying to date someone who’s already taken.” She

fixed him with a glare. “And someone who’s not

interested. God, Evans, can’t you take a hint?”

As she rose to get up, he laid a hand on her

arm. “Wait!” Her head snapped up to greet him

with the anger she felt reflected in her eyes.

“…Please. I just want to know…” He looked

down at the table, an air of genuine defeat

about him. “Why don’t you like me?”

She sighed. “I don’t even know you, Paul. You

haven’t given me that chance. The minute you see

me, you hit on me. You don’t talk *to* me, you

talk *at* me. You cook up some scheme to get my

partner away–that was way out of line, by the

way, what you and your partner did to him. Why

on earth would I want to date someone like that?

Can you tell me?”

Expecting to see remorse on his face, she was

somewhat surprised by the smug expression he

wore instead. “Yeah, ol’ Spooky didn’t fall for

our ‘case,’ but we dangled that alien carrot in

his face long enough to get him interested. I

don’t see how someone like him ever got you for

a partner.”

“Someone like him?” she asked, icicles dripping

from every syllable.

“Yeah. You’ve gotta know what everyone thinks

about that freak.”

“No, I don’t.”

“Come on. You must hear it… The guy’s off his

rocker. Always chasing after ghosts, monsters

and aliens. And look at his family… Little

green men kidnapped his sister, his father

murdered in his own house, his mother offing

herself because he–”

Whatever else Evans was going to say, Scully

would never know, because it was at that point

that she decked him.

As she was rubbing her sore knuckles, two things

happened simultaneously: the entire room broke

out in applause, and she saw Mulder standing in

the doorway, smile sadly, and leave.

**

Corridor Outside of Break Room

2:27 p.m.

Scully caught him as he knew she must. “Mulder!”

she called, and he waited until she was beside

him. “Are you all right?”

He nodded. The thing was… he felt pretty good.

Granted, what Evans said hurt–it always did, no

matter how much he might say it didn’t–but

seeing Scully pop that blowhard in the nose was

worth it. Hearing the other agents cheering

about it was an added plus.

“Are you sure?” Her concern for him was

adorable, especially standing there sucking on

her abraded knuckles.

He took hold of her elbow, and guided her down

the corridor, into a conveniently-located

janitor’s closet, flicking on the light switch

before closing the door. “That was the single

most erotic thing I’ve ever seen,” he told her,

taking her sore hand and bringing her knuckles

to his mouth.

She looked at him a moment, shocked, and then

she started to laugh. “Here I was worried that

you were going to get all maudlin on me, and you

were turned on?”

He nodded emphatically. “Very.”

She shook her head. “Do women hitting men always

turn you on?”

He shook his head. “Only you. Only you hitting

other men while defending my honor.”

Again, she laughed, and he was more aroused by

the sound of it. “I can’t go back to that

meeting.”

Her laughter stopped, and she placed a

comforting hand on his arm. “You *are* upset.”

He looked down at the bulge in his pants. “Well,

you got the ‘up’ part right.”

She followed his gaze, and the comforting hand

gave him a light smack. “I can’t take you

anywhere.”

He shook his head happily. “Nope.” Then he

sobered. “What will we miss if we leave? What’s

left for today?”

Reaching into her jacket pocket, Scully pulled

out the agenda. “Uhmm…” She looked up quickly.

“You’re not going to believe this.”

His brows furrowed in question. “What?”

She pointed at the sheet of paper. “Evans.

Giving a presentation on manure.”

He smiled in amazement. “You’re kidding!”

Grinning, she shook her head. “For real. Look.”

She held the schedule so he could see.

He read about the last presentation of the day,

then looked up at her. “There’s no way we can

get through that with any modicum of dignity.”

Scully suddenly gasped. “I wonder if I broke his

nose. Maybe he can’t do it.”

Mulder shrugged. “He deserved it.” Tilting her

face up to him with a finger under her chin, he

kissed her lightly on the lips. “Not just for

what he said about me, but for the way he’s been

disrespecting you, the way he disrespects all

women–and their significant others. He deserved

that, and so much more.”

“I suppose,” she said, looking away, sounding

uncertain.

Now was the time, he thought, for him to give it

to her. “But your timing was a little off,” he

said.

She met his eyes again. “What do you mean?”

“Well, I was waiting for him to make us a

reservation at a really nice restaurant…”

His words had the desired effect, and she

laughed.

“One with soft music, dancing, candlelight…

all those romantic cliches.”

“Mulder, you do know how to sweet talk a girl,

don’t you?”

“Only you, Scully. Only you.” He reached into

his pocket and took out a small box.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Well, it’s not brass knuckles…”

She rubbed her sore fingers. “It’s a little too

late anyway; I really could have used them

earlier.”

“I said it’s *not* brass knuckles–”

“Oh. Right. Sorry.” She grinned. “Well, what

then? What is it?”

“It’s Valentine’s Day today.”

She raised an eyebrow. “I gathered that by all

the hearts and flowers you bestowed upon me

earlier.”

His head snapped up. “What? I didn’t–”

“It’s just too easy,” she laughed.

“Humph. Maybe I should keep this.” Turning

around, he made a show of opening the box and

peeking inside. “I’d look quite fetching in it,

you know. I’d be the envy of all the other boys

in the office.”

She tugged on his arm. “Mulder, come on. Quit

stalling and give me my present.”

Now that the moment was here, he wasn’t too sure

about what he was about to do. Perhaps he should

have followed tradition and given her chocolates

or flowers or some appropriately-themed jewelry.

Would she think he was trying to get out of

buying her a *real* present? Maybe she’d laugh

at his pathetic attempt to be romantic. He

fingered the box in his pocket, looked at the

excited anticipation in her eyes, and chickened

out.

He pulled out a half-empty box of candy

conversation hearts instead. Then he realized

that they were even cheesier than his ‘real’

gift. He tucked them back in before she could

see them.

“So you *did* get me candy, after all,” she

laughed, her words proving that the eye–at

least hers–was faster than the hand.

“Uhh… No. Not really,” he stammered, starting

to feel more than a little ridiculous for what,

at the time, had seemed not only romantic, but a

true representation of what he felt and where he

wanted their relationship to go.

“Mulder,” she said gently, apparently picking up

on his feelings of doubt. “Whatever it is, I’m

sure I’ll love it.”

He shook his head. “It’s nothing like what

you’re expecting.”

She laughed. “If there’s one thing I learned

from all my time with you, it’s that *nothing*

from you is ever what I expect. You always

manage to surprise me.”

He looked down at the floor. “Then you’ll

definitely be surprised by this.” Taking a deep

breath, he pulled out the box and thrust it at

her. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” he mumbled

nervously.

Instead of taking the box, Scully closed her

hand over his. “Why don’t you keep this until

you think I’m ready to accept it?”

“Scully, it’s not… Well, not exactly.” Meeting

her eyes, he saw love and understanding. He took

another deep breath. “I want you to have it

now.”

She watched his face a moment, then nodded.

“Okay.”

After she let go, he held it out to her in his

palm. She plucked it out carefully, then looked

up at him before opening it. Swallowing

apprehensively, he nodded, and she cracked the

lid.

She stared at it for a minute, and he knew she

was wondering just what in the heck it was.

“It’s–”

“A love token,” she finished, picking up the

cup-shaped coin. After examining it for a

second, she gazed up at him. “A Lincoln penny? I

thought these were from medieval times.”

He scraped a foot along the floor. “Well, the

tradition is from medieval times. It was

customary for a man to bend a copper coin and

give it to his sweetheart as a token of his love

and…” He glanced into her eyes before looking

away again. “…intention of marriage.”

Her lips formed an ‘Oh,’ but the word was not

vocalized.

“Um… The rest of the tradition is that they

were never spent and were always carried by the

woman as a demonstration of her loyalty and as a

constant reminder to her each time she opened

her purse. Um… usually it was a coin of the

period, so I thought…” He felt his face flush.

Suddenly he found her lips attached to his.

“Mulder, that has to be the most utterly

romantic thing anyone has ever done for anyone!”

Slowly, he shook his head. “Not anyone,” he said

quietly. “As I may have mentioned before… only

you, Scully.”

Smiling, she cupped his cheek with her hand.

“And only you, Mulder.”

Then she turned out the light and gave him her

present.

The End

Feedback gratefully accepted by Jo-Ann at

Jolassi555@cs.com. Thanks!

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