TITLE: The One That Got Away
AUTHOR: Jo-Ann Lassiter
SUMMARY: Has Scully fallen for another man?
DISTRIBUTION: Post anywhere.
NOTES: Written for VS10. Mulder and Scully are a couple.
DISCLAIMER: Just borrowing them, Chris. Thanks for the loaner.
Saturday, April 5
Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom
“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this.” The harsh whisper held traces of frustration, annoyance and petulance.
“It’s not as if I had any choice, you know.” The tiniest bit of anger tinged the whispered reply.
“*You* were the one he invited. Not me.” An unspoken chuckle could most definitely be heard this time.
“And I invited you.” The response was equally as smarmy.
His eyebrow raised. “Do you call ‘You’re coming with me’ an invitation?”
She mulled it over a second or two, then smiled sweetly. “Yes.”
“You would,” he grumbled.
“Agent Scully,” a deep, smooth voice called. “Dana.”
She looked up into the smiling face of the devastatingly handsome Jason Alden III, their host–and grandson of the director of the FBI. “Jason,” she breathed. “Thank you for inviting me.”
A not-too-discreet cough from Mulder brought her out of the daze Jason Alden’s presence always seemed to put her in.
“Oh.” She indicated the man sitting beside her with a toss of her head. “This is my partner.”
When Jason raised an eyebrow, her mouth opened in a totally different kind of ‘oh’ as the blue in his eyes appeared to deepen. My God, he was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen.
“Fox Mulder,” Mulder said loudly, sticking his hand out right in front of her face and obstructing her view of the blond Adonis.
Distaste practically dripping from his mouth, Alden allowed only the briefest touch of his fingers on Mulder’s before pulling back and brushing them off on his pants leg. The man lost a great deal of his appeal with that demonstration of rudeness. The sour look on his face caused his features to distort into something profoundly repugnant.
Then his attention was off Mulder and back on her, and the transformation was nothing short of amazing. All the looks were once again in place, the charm was turned back on, and Scully found that her infatuation had not only faded, it had coalesced into revulsion.
“Would you grant me the honor of a dance?” he asked.
She heard Mulder’s hard swallow beside her. He’d obviously noted her fascination with the man, and she knew he was dying inside. Nonetheless, a few seconds earlier she wouldn’t have cared. Although she knew it would have killed him, she would have gone off and left him thinking he’d lost her to another man. Or, at the very least, he would know that he was not, as she had so often told him, the love of her life. She would have gone and left him without a second thought. She knew this for a fact.
She also knew that it would have been against her will. Mulder *was* the love of her life, and she would never knowingly hurt him like that. As she opened her mouth to turn down Alden’s proposal, Mulder lurched to his feet with a hastily uttered, “Excuse me,” and dashed out the French doors behind them.
“As I was saying, dear Dana…” She felt her control slip away as she nodded and allowed herself to be pulled up into Jason’s arms.
As he swept her onto the dance floor, her eyes were drawn to Mulder’s sorrowful face looking in from the other side of the window. His hair was plastered to his face, the wind buffeted him, and lightning flashed behind him.
She couldn’t help but think, though, that the rain falling upon him was not the reason why his eyes were wet.
Mulder shivered, telling himself that his desire to experience a lightning strike firsthand had nothing to do with the vision of Scully in another man’s arms.
He didn’t understand it. Yes, she’d seemed enthralled by the man when he first made an appearance, but that seemed to diminish after Mulder’s ‘introduction’ to the oily bastard. He was sure Scully had seen the loathing the other man didn’t even try to hide when he looked upon Mulder, and that it had turned her off.
Yet she hadn’t hesitated to accept the asshole’s invitation to dance after Mulder, suddenly possessed of an intense need for fresh air, had escaped outside. Sadist that he was, though, he had to watch her departure from the room. From him.
He’d barely noticed the storm into which he’d stepped. His rapt attention had been on the way she practically glided over the parquet floor, wrapped in the arms of a man who wasn’t him.
Right before she’d disappeared from sight, she’d locked eyes with him for a very brief few seconds. It was at that moment, when he detected not one glimmer of the love she said she felt for him, that he decided to die.
It was as she danced a waltz unerringly in the arms of the most gorgeous man in the world that Scully began to have her suspicions.
She didn’t know how to waltz.
Yet she whirled and swirled and floated across the floor as if she’d done it all her life. Remarkable, she thought at first, how easily she had picked up on the flow and rhythm of the music. She smiled at Jason.
Since they’d begun, he’d not once taken his eyes from hers. The attention he was lavishing on her was flattering, and so unusual to be coming from someone other than Mulder.
Her eyes darted to the little alcove in which they’d been sitting when Alden had intruded upon them. Was Mulder still out in the rain? The wintry weather was finally gone, but it had been cool enough that they’d needed their coats.
Now it was dark, cold and raining; he was outside in only his suit jacket. And she was tripping the light fantastic to a dance she didn’t know with a man she didn’t like?
What the hell?
With a snarl, she turned back to the man holding her possessively, and before he could seduce her again with those hypnotic–hypnotic!–eyes, she took aim and blackened one of those baby blues.
Gasps of horror and exclamations of surprise were expressed when Alden’s tanned and buff body hit the ballroom floor. As she was exiting the room, she heard the director’s appalled and condemning, “Agent Scully!” just before the room exploded in applause and female catcalls of “Good for you, honey!” and
“It’s about time!” She heard one or two “Slimeball’s” before the scene faded from her hearing as she left the room.
She walked straight to the last place she’d seen him, and without hesitation threw open the doors. There was no one on the veranda, and she was about to go back inside when she saw him.
He was standing in the middle of the perfectly-cut grass, easily the tallest thing on the lawn, arms extended over his head as if reaching–
“Mulder!” she yelled, hitching up her dress, vaulting over the wall and racing toward his shivering form. Barreling into him at full speed, she knocked him flat on his back; he blinked in dismay and tried to look away from her. “Hypnosis,” she said before he could engage in any more self-flagellation. “That bastard was hypnotizing me.”
He blinked, and when his gaze met hers, she nodded in confirmation. “It’s true,” she told him.
“Then you…” He swallowed a few times, and she could see him fighting back tears.
“I’m so sorry,” she whispered. “Once I realized, though, I made sure not to make eye contact with him.”
“How…?” he asked, as she helped him to his feet and they walked back to the house.
She smiled in remembrance. “It was you. I thought of you, and that broke the spell.” Her grin widened as she recalled how she’d left Alden. “Then I decked him.”
His mouth fell open in awe. “The director’s grandson? You hit him?”
She nodded. “He won’t be hypnotizing any unsuspecting females for at least a few days. Not with the shiner he’s going to have.”
“But the director’s grandson, Scully. What’s going to happen to you for hitting the director’s grandson?” He helped her up onto the terrace, and then launched himself up and over the railing.
She shrugged. “If the cheers and jeers I heard in there are any indication, I wasn’t the only one he tried his little deception on.” He followed her inside although she could sense his reticence.
“Is there any way to get our coats and get out of here without going through that room?” He indicated the grand ballroom, which had thinned out considerably since her departure.
She looked around. Other than the door through which they’d just come, no other exit presented itself.
He sighed in defeat. “Let’s get it over with.”
She was assaulted as soon as she walked through the door. As the director and his wife made a beeline for his partner, Mulder stepped in front of her.
“It’s all right, Mulder,” she said softly, taking hold of his arm and gently pushing him out of harm’s way. “I’m not sorry for what I did, and I’m going to tell him so.”
He let his admiration and pride for her shine through in his gaze; smiling very slightly, he moved to stand behind her.
“Director,” she said, as he came to a halt before her. “Ma’am,” she nodded to the woman with him.
“Agent Scully,” the director said, his eyes taking in their sodden forms. “I’d like to apologize for Jason’s behavior toward you. I had no idea he’d been practicing… seducing… women.”
“Thank you, sir,” his partner said. “Er… is he all right?”
“He’s fine,” the director’s wife said. “Although…” Her eyes twinkled. “…you may have put a crimp in his style for the next few weeks.”
“And his mother will see to it that his style is permanently crimped after that,” the director growled.
“Uh… yes, sir,” Scully said, and Mulder could tell that she was at a loss as to how to respond next.
“Sir, if you don’t mind, Agent Scully and I have to be going. We, uh…” He held out one dripping arm.
“Oh. Of course, Agent Mulder.” The man nodded to both of them. “Good night, Agents.”
Resting his hand in his spot on Scully’s back, Mulder guided her to the coat check in the foyer. Several women stopped his partner to offer their thanks and/or congratulations for finally putting Alden in his place.
When they were safely out the front door, alone under the awning, Scully whacked Mulder on the arm with her purse. “Don’t think I don’t know what you were doing out there in the rain.”
“I’ve been thinking about that,” he said, meeting her eyes momentarily before looking away. “Although I can’t say the thought has never crossed my mind, I can honestly say that since we’ve been ‘together’ I have never once felt the urge to ‘off’ myself.”
“What do you think happened?” she asked softly.
“I think he affected me, too. I don’t know if it was an offshoot of what he was doing to you or if it was deliberate. All I know is that I felt despondent; not quite suicidal, but not about to interfere if nature wanted to take me out.” He looked into her eyes. “But I couldn’t leave you. I guess a part of me was hoping that you’d rescue me.” He smiled. “And you did.”
Grabbing onto his rear end, she squeezed it possessively. “You bet your mighty fine ass, I did.” She pulled him off the bottom step, back into the rain.
He sidled up to her, letting her feel what she could do to him with one well-placed touch. “You keep that up, and I won’t be responsible for my actions,” he breathed, rubbing himself against her hip.
Squirming out of his embrace, she tugged him–rather forcefully–toward the parking lot. “Come on, Flash. That human lightning rod of yours is about to see a few sparks.”
He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass.
Old Testament, Psalm lxxii. 6.
Feedback gratefully accepted by Jo-Ann at JoLassi555@cs.com
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