This story is based on characters created by
Chris Carter and Ten Thirteen Productions.
Characters used without permission. No
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.
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
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”
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
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
“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
“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
“That was if you moved when I asked you to. You
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
“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
“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
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.
The lights dimmed, the first slide was
displayed, and Scully nearly jumped out of her
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”
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
“Something wrong?” he asked so that only she
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.
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
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
“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
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
“Might be worth it,” he heard her mutter.
Sheraton Universal Hotel
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
“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-
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
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
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
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.
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
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
“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
“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
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
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.
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
“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
“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
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
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
“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.
“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
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
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
“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
“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
Smiling indulgently at him, she stuck out her
chin and gave an exaggerated version of Evans’s
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
“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!”
“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
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
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
“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
“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
“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
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
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
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
Now was the time, he thought, for him to give it
to her. “But your timing was a little off,” he
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
“One with soft music, dancing, candlelight…
all those romantic cliches.”
“Mulder, you do know how to sweet talk a girl,
“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
“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
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
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
“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
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
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
She watched his face a moment, then nodded.
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
She stared at it for a minute, and he knew she
was wondering just what in the heck it was.
“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
“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
Smiling, she cupped his cheek with her hand.
“And only you, Mulder.”
Then she turned out the light and gave him her
Feedback gratefully accepted by Jo-Ann at