Love’s a Beach

TITLE: Love’s A Beach

AUTHOR: XSketch

SUMMARY: It’s Valentine’s Day…and Mulder’s ditched

Scully again.

CATEGORY: Vignette, casefile, MSR

RATING: PG-13

ARCHIVE: Two weeks exclusive to IMTP’s VS11, and

then I’d be honored for you to use it – as long as

you keep my name attached and let me know where so I

can visit!

FEEDBACK: Proudly begged for at

sketchney@ntlworld.com!

SPOILERS: Nope (I’ve been very good this time

<g>)…’cept, maybe, Vickie Moseley’s VS11 ‘Great

Balls Of Fire’

DISCLAIMER: Oh, please! Look, they’re NOT mine –

never were, never will be! I’m just giving them an

airing. Chris Carter, 1013 and co. own them, and all

complaints about where the show ended up going are

encouraged to be sent to them!

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

special. The Lithuanian and Norse myths mentioned do

exist…Wish I could claim to have come up with

those, but I can’t. 😦 I read it and just *had* to

make the M&S connection!

This is for GG7 – for being the first person to prod

me into writing!

*****************************************************

**************

LUVLITE LAKE, CONNECTICUT

FEBRUARY 13th, 2004

5:17 PM

*This* was the best time for a stroll along the

beach.

Everyone was making their way home, the business was

winding down and the sun was setting. Quiet,

tranquil, and hers for the taking whenever she wanted

it.

Yep: the best time for sure.

Of course, why they were even open for business in

February when it was freezing cold and the December

snow had barely thawed still befuddled her, but it

was her husband Olev’s decision and he owned the

place; it was best to let him just get on with it.

…If only, one day, he would make the time and get

his head out of the books long enough to share this

special walk with her… That didn’t look set to be

happening any time soon, though – not even with

Valentine’s Day just around the corner – so she

stopped at the water’s edge and let out a sigh in

appreciation of the fact that she could experience

this at all.

The moment of tranquillity quickly and unexpectedly

changed into one of confused shock, however, as the

clear blue lake turned a sickly shade of amber and

the small tide dispensed two objects shaped like

teardrops at her feet.

XxXxXxXxX

“It was her.”

Fox Mulder glanced up at the tanned, Dutch-accented

man that had just uttered the words, and then

frowned.

The call had come on his cellphone from the Tolland

County sheriff at 5:12 this morning, and he had

almost turned it down… ‘Almost’ being the operative

word, of course. Fifteen minutes later he had left

the apartment and the peacefully slumbering Scully in

favour of solving this as soon as possible.

“Who? Your wife?” he queried, glancing out at the

expanse of golden water and then back at the man.

Olev Johansen gave a scoff of laughter and shook his

head. “No!” As quickly as it had departed, the

seriousness returned to his face. “The mermaid

lady,” he whispered for dramatic effect.

Mulder could be gullible…No, not gullible – more

‘open-minded’… about things, but even he had come

far enough to be able to give the man a skeptical

glance. He was just thankful his partner wasn’t here

to see it, otherwise she’d be either checking him for

a head injury or gloating with ‘I told you this case

was a waste of time!’

“I hear the mermaid lady’s story when I small boy…

I no believe… I still don’t. But be it her or

something else, I need my water back fresh – I lose

customers all time beach closed,” Olev explained.

“I-I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable

explanation, sir,” Mulder faltered, lowering his head

to stare at the two objects in the evidence bag that

he held. “And I’m sure we’ll be able to open the

beach before too much business is lost.” A pause,

and then, “But, about this mermaid: what’s the

story?”

So, he was curious! Was that such a surprise?

“In Baltic Sea, lady fall in love with fisher-man…but

that is pissing off Perkunas because it make the

water impure.” Johansen paused as he noticed the

dawning realization on the FBI agent’s face. He

wasn’t deterred from telling his story for long

though, and after a deep breath he continued, “So

fisher-man was killed with great bolt of lightning in

the palace, and mermaid lady was chained to ruins.

But it said she cry – she cry a lot for loss of

fisher-man, and her tears colour the sea… Maybe she

freed from palace and now she cry here…at my lake.”

“Mister Johansen, you’re talking about a myth

centuries old… Believe me, given many other

scenarios I would have every reason to think that a

myth may be connected to the crime… I just don’t

think it’s the case here.” What the hell was coming

out of his mouth!? Mulder quickly shut it before he

told the man he was crazy, and then crouched down to

collect a sample of the coloured water.

“You no think? It may be old story, but I think it

true…Melba agree, and she not often do that for

things she know I learn from my papa,” the tanned man

countered, combing a shaky hand through his greasy

hair. “I think it very likely – especially today of

all days.”

Mulder capped the tube before shooting the man a

questioning glance. “Huh?”

“February 14th, of course!”

February 14th?…Febr–

Oh, crap.

Valentine’s Day…

…And he had ditched Scully…

XxXxXxXxX

GEORGETOWN, WASHINGTON D.C

HALF AN HOUR EARLIER…

Dana Scully turned over and reached across the

bed…only to find the space beside her empty. Her

eyes immediately flung open and looked around the

room, but there was no sign of her partner.

Since he’d moved into her apartment three weeks ago

she had learnt a couple extra perks and quirks about

him that she never thought possible (after all,

they’d always spent so much time together whilst on a

case and in the rest of their personal time… What

made cohabiting so different?), but nine times out of

ten he was always there in the bed with her when she

awoke – always ready to prove to her again just how

much he really did love her, even though it would

make them late for work if he did.

Today they had the day off, and she was adamant on

the idea of making this Valentine’s Day work, with

neither of them ending up in hospital.

…Maybe he’d gone for a jog…

Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, Scully padded into

the living room and then the kitchen.

She quickly stepped back, though, as the image of his

running shoes next to the front door registered in

her mind.

“Mulder?”

A search throughout the whole apartment and several

more sharp calls of his name turned up no Mulder.

However, another visual sweep of the living room

revealed the folded note on the coffee table.

‘Scully,

Please don’t load your gun yet! I got a

call from the sheriff in Tolland County early this

morning about some lake changing color all of a

sudden… It sounds fairly simple, and I know you need

the rest so I didn’t want to wake you. I’ll solve it

and be home ASAP, unscathed – I promise.

Yours always, M’

The paper fell to the floor as the anger inside her

rose. She was going to kill him this time, for sure.

Ditching her was one thing, but in the morning and on

today of all days… A death sentence was definitely

called for.

After an unsuccessful attempt at calling his number,

she phoned the sheriff to gain all the information

she could (wishing she could kill him as well for

calling her partner out).

“Oh, yeah,” the voice down the line apologized. “I

didn’t think he’d mind – I’ve heard that that kind of

thing is what you investigate.”

“It is, Sheriff Gusmano, but we usually take

assignments via our assistant director,” Dana

seethed, barely able to contain the murderous rage

boiling in her veins. Of course Mulder wouldn’t

mind! She, on the other hand…

“All I can do is apologize, agent. As it is I’ve

been trying to contact your partner to apologise for

wasting his time an–”

“Wasting his time?”

“Well, yeah… We found out the cause of the colour-

change in the Johansens’ lake, and it ain’t anything

paranormal, I can assure you,” Gusmano explained.

“I’ve been trying to pass the information on to your

partner, but he’s not answering his phone. I was

just about to drive out there when y–”

“No, don’t worry about doing that,” she suddenly cut

in – a plan forming in her mind. This would be the

perfect chance to punish him for ditching her!

“Where did you say he was again?” She could turn up

and then watch his face as she debunked whatever

crazy theory he had concocted with the sheriff’s

explanation.

“Luvlite Lake Beach and Boat Club.”

“Thanks. Thank you very much.”

XxXxXxXxX

As Olev Johansen made his way up the decked stairs to

look for his wife, Mulder sat down in the rental car,

booted up his laptop and then – with a couple of

clicks – opened the ‘Myths And Legends’ program

Scully had given him two Christmases ago.

“Ah, Scully, you know what I like,” he grinned (as he

had then), typing ‘Baltic Sea – Perkunus’ into the

search bar.

When the results brought back an alternate spelling

and two listed articles, he opened the first and

begun to read.

Needless to say, it was pretty much exactly what the

Dutchman had described to him.

At the bottom of the page, however, was printed the

sentence ‘Recalls myth of Freya – the Norse goddess

of Love and Fertility – who cried tears of amber into

the sea after losing her husband, Odur’. Immediately

he typed that name into the program, and was reading

the almost identical tale when the sound of

approaching footsteps caught his attention.

“Melba is okay… She speak to you now,” Johansen

awkwardly smiled, resting a hand on the top of the

open car door.

Mulder gave an appreciative nod and then followed the

man up to the clubhouse.

XxXxXxXxX

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14th, 2004

1:57 PM

Two and a half hours, three cups of coffee and one

bathroom break later Mulder moved back out to the

beach no nearer to solving this case than he had been

when he’d first arrived. Melba Johansen had seen

nothing, the trees that surrounded the small building

showed no signs of UFO activity, and the only theory

he had to work with was the myth of a grieving

mermaid goddess.

Pretty standard X-File, then…

With a defeated sigh, he glanced down at his watch.

Two o’clock… Scully would have concocted a perfect

torture plan for him by now – heck, she’d have come

up with it five seconds after reading his note! He

couldn’t really blame her – forgetting Valentine’s

Day and ditching her aside, he had then worsened the

situation by not bothering to call her.

He reached into his jacket pocket for his phone, only

to find it not there.

“You seem to have this habit of leaving things

behind: Unlocked car, laptop, cellular

phone…partner…”

Mulder looked up to see Scully standing against the

front of his car with her arms folded across her

chest and the stern expression on her face that could

kill a thousand men on the spot in a heartbeat.

“Scully… Hey!” That’s it, Mulder, play it cool.

“When did you get here?” Approaching, he smiled –

trying to let his happiness to see her outweigh the

fear of what she was going to do to him.

Dana stood still, watching his tall frame as he

stopped directly in front of her. She was still

angry with him, but as she stared at his face and

noticed the guilt it unsuccessfully tried to hide

from her, it was a difficult internal battle to stay

that way.

“I think the words you’re looking for are ‘I’m sorry

I ditched you yet again, Scully. What can I do to

make it up to you?'” came her cold response.

He grimaced.

“Mulder, one of these days you’re gonna learn you

can’t chase after every little case that drops in

your lap, and that I don’t particularly like being

left behind – without warning – on one of our rare

days off,” Scully asserted – arms unfolding and both

hands moving to rest against her hips.

“I’m sorry, Scully. Really, I am – I did leave you a

note to let you know where I’d gone…” came his

hesitant defence. “But we could be witness to a myth

becoming reali–”

“No, we’re not, and other than coming to kick your

ass to Kingdom Come, I’m here to let you know that

your work here is done – there is no case.”

“The water suddenly turned amber! Of course there’s

a case, and I think it’s connected to an old Norse

tale…”

“Believe me, Mulder, there is no X-File here.”

Scully’s features softened and she outstretched a

hand to gently touch the end of his jacket sleeve.

Sometimes she hated having to tell him that there was

a rational explanation because of all the hard work

he put in – no matter how big a jerk he could be.

“Sheriff Gusmano got word of the real answer you’re

looking for and has been trying to pass it on to

you…but guess who left their phone on silent and in

the car?” The all-too-familiar raised eyebrow

appeared.

“You have the answer?”

She smiled triumphantly as the crestfallen expression

on his face deepened. “Ohhh yes… But you’re not

going to like it.” The hand on his arm raised to

rest on his shoulder and then turn him so he was

looking out at the water. “See that building beyond

the trees on the other side of the lake?” Her other

hand outstretched to point at the dark spot on the

horizon, and he nodded. “It’s a waste disposal

plant.”

Mulder’s shoulders abruptly slumped and his head

snapped round to stare at her.

“Yesterday there was an unexpected leak and somehow

it all overflowed into the Johansens’ beautiful lake

– contaminating the water,” Dana continued. “That’s

why the water suddenly changed colour. But the

sheriff wasn’t handed the incident report until about

the same time you were flying to Logan.”

It was the most logical thing he’d heard thus far,

but still Mulder didn’t want to believe her, so he

quickly reached into the car and pulled out the

evidence he’d collected. “Well, what are these

then?” he enquired, holding up the bag with the two

teardrop-shaped objects in.

“Uh…” Scully paused and had to break eye contact

briefly. “Mulder, what did you used to do with your

fish when they died?”

“I flushed th– They’re not, are they?”

A nod of her head and the bag sharply fell from his

grasp.

“So, this…?” He presented the plastic tube to her,

then removed the lid and lifted it to his nose to

sniff the yellow liquid. A second later disgust

washed over his face and he quickly emptied the

contents out onto the sand at his feet. “Jeez… I

really…I really screwed up this time, didn’t I?”

Scully shook her head and reached for his hand – her

anger a memory she was okay to put aside at least

until later. “When don’t you?” she smiled. “It’s

what makes you unique, though – you mess up so many

times, but you still fight for what you believe in,

survive and beat the bad guys. As annoying as you

can be, I wouldn’t have you any other way.”

“But I ruined today…I ruined your Valentine’s

Day…”

“Very true, and I will make you pay for doing that,

as well as for ditching me. But the day is still

young, there’s still plenty of time for you to buy me

something…” A pause to flash him a mischievous

grin. “…And maybe we can hunt down a decent

restaurant to go to before flying back.”

“In podunk Connecticut?” Mulder groaned.

“It’s worth a try, isn’t it?”

He nodded as she gave his hand a squeeze. “Okay.

I’ll just go tell the Johansens I’m leaving.”

“I’ll be waiting.”

He was just moving back towards the clubhouse when

her voice suddenly called out, “Besides, you forgot,

Mulder, that you need me around to help you find the

answers!”

He turned, smiled, gave a nod of his head and mouthed

the word ‘Always’ before continuing on his way.

XxXxXxXxX

TWENTY MINUTES LATER

Having had her patience stretched to breaking point,

Scully was briskly walking toward the clubhouse when

her partner suddenly re-appeared.

“Sorry about that, Scully, but I do come bearing good

news and a plan to make this day worthwhile,” he

panted.

“You’d better,” she grunted in reply.

He looked hurt at her lack of belief in him (even

though he knew at the same time that he’d given her

no reason to have otherwise), but boldly continued,

“Have you got the overnight bag in the trunk?”

“Mulder?”

“Just bear with me: obviously the Johansens have

gotta shut the place down ’til the lake’s been

completely decontaminated, and they’ve made plans to

disappear for a few days… So, I kinda asked them if

we could stop here – just for tonight – and they

happily gave me the keys to the place. Even gave me

directions to a nice dining spot a couple miles

away.” Mulder paused and smiled at the mixture of

happiness, shock, love and confusion he saw in her

eyes. “What d’ you think?”

Think? She had to *think*?! She couldn’t even

speak! Yet again his tenderness and desire to always

make sure she was happy overwhelmed her. At the back

of her mind she vaguely remembered that she should be

angry with him, but that was too distant a memory to

care about right now.

“Scully? Did I screw up again?”

“Whuh–? Mul– No! No…No, you didn’t. Are you

sure they’re okay with that? I mean, you didn’t tell

them we’re FBI partners, did you? Because if word

gets back–”

“Yes they are okay with that, and no I didn’t tell

’em you were my work partner – give me some credit,

g-woman. I told ’em I have this beautiful girl that

I’m dating but always take far too much for granted,

and that I’d forgotten it was Valentine’s Day so I

wanted to make it up to her…” He paused and a

devillish grin lit his face as he added, finally,

“And then I held them both at gunpoint and demanded

they hand over the keys or I’d shoot–”

“*Mulder!*”

“What? That’s what you wanted to hear, isn’t it?”

Dana shook her head, reached up onto tiptoe to kiss

his cheek and then wrapped her arms around him. “So,

what now?”

“I got the map here… Why don’t we go grab a meal?”

“Yes please – I haven’t eaten since last night and

I’m starved…”

“So am I, but how about we save that for after?”

A playful slap on his arm from her, a hearty laugh

from him and then together they made their way toward

his parked car.

XxXxXxXxX

LUVLITE LAKE

7:22 PM

“Come with me down to the beach.”

Mulder looked down at Scully, who had suddenly tugged

at his hand as he was about to ascend the path to the

clubhouse. Already this evening had proven to be one

he would remember always thanks to the meal they had

just shared. The prospect of walking the beach in

the moonlight with the woman he loved so much was an

added bonus he hadn’t stopped to consider.

“Come on,” she persisted with a breathy whisper.

“Scully, the water’s full of piss and shit!”

“So are you a lot of the time, but I still kiss you!”

To prove her point she reached up and pressed her

lips against his (the mixture of her desire and the

wine she’d consumed at the restaurant immediately

intoxicating his senses). “Come on,…We don’t have to

go near the water. I just…I just wanna walk along

the beach with you.”

Nothing more needed to be said, and he happily

obliged her.

XxXxXxXxX

Ten minutes later they were settled on the sand –

Scully sitting between Mulder’s spread legs and

resting back against his chest.

“I had come up with about a hundred different ways to

torture you for ditching me this morning, you know,”

she sighed as his arms encircled her.

“Mm… I’d guessed as much… What were the chief

runners?”

“Making you clean my apartment from top to bottom for

a month, singing to you, making you learn to rinse

your mouth out with water when you’ve cleaned your

teeth instead of coffee – although I’m planning on

working with you on that one anyway, so don’t get too

cocky… Uh, inviting Bill ’round for dinner and

making you stay…”

“Wow, I’m glad I got you drunk instead so that you

forgot you had to be angry with me!” he chuckled,

resting the side of his head against hers. “I don’t

think I could have survived that much punishment!”

“Hmm…”

The humour quickly faded away and a thick layer of

tense silence smothered them for a moment. Finally,

though, his hold on her increased and he whispered

against her ear, “I don’t like leaving you behind,

Scully. As you said yourself, I need you by my side

if I’m ever to find the answers professionally or

privately. But when I got the call from the sheriff

this morning I just couldn’t say no, even though it

seemed a waste of time. It killed me to have to

leave you behind, but I thought you could do with a

little rest, and I didn’t wanna pull you out to the

middle of nowhere for another pointless case… Not

that I’m saying I knew it was just gonna be two

petrified fish and a lake full of the county’s toilet

sewage–”

“I know. Let’s just forget it and enjoy what’s left

of today.” One of Dana’s hands reached up and

stroked down his cheek as he kissed her earlobe.

“Jurate,” came his deep sigh.

“What? Who?”

“I was just thinking about Jurate – the mermaid

Mister Johansen told me about – I read up about her

on that CD-ROM you gave me for Christmas. Apparently

she had originally gone to visit Kastytis – a

fisherman who was hunting in her kingdom – to stop

him fishing, but she fell deeply in love with him

instead… I was thinking about how much you remind

me of her… I mean, you were sent to debunk me, but

instead you worked *with* me and helped me. And

when, when They realised Their mistake, They tried

everything to separate us.” Mulder swallowed and his

eyes slipped shut as he remembered the day she had

walked through his office door for the very first

time. “You became my everything, though – my

world…dependable, held together and always so

caring.”

After a heartbeat or two to let his words sink in,

Dana cleared her throat and then twisted in his arms

so that she could stare at him. “You’re forgetting

something, though, Mulder,” she whispered, never

breaking eye contact.

“What?”

“Didn’t that story finish badly?”

“Yeah. A sea goddess in love with a mortal was

frowned upon, so–”

“Shhh,” she cut him off, placing her cool fingers

against his lips. A little shuffling, a few more

twists and she was kneeling in front of him – her

hands resting on his neck. “How about we create our

own myth…and give it a happy ending?”

He was beaming from ear to ear as he leaned forward

and they shared a passionate kiss. “I think I like

that idea a lot, Dr. Scully,” he breathed.

“And how about we sit here for a few more minutes and

then go inside?”

“How about we just stay out here under the safety of

the stars?”

It was Scully’s turn to grin, and she did so as she

nodded her agreement and then moved to sit down in

front of him yet again.

Not long after, they showed each other how much they

appreciated what they had together every day of the

year – not just today – under the watchful eyes of

the gods.

Even the goddesses of the sea stopped crying to

smile.

=====

THE END

=====

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

‘Don’t wake me up

If I should be dreaming

I don’t wanna miss

One minute of this dream’

-‘Oceans Away’ by G. Pitney

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To those I promised MT to: sorry! It seemed much

more fun contained

in Scully’s mind…if not just better for the story

🙂 Whether you

liked it or not, though, I’d love to read your views

at

sketchney@ntlworld.com!!! …Please?!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

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