Category Archives: Valentine’s Day

How Mulder Forgot the Most Romantic Day of the Year (and lived to tell the tale)

How Mulder Forgot the Most Romantic Day of the Year

(and lived to tell the tale)

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He couldn’t believe he’d done it. It was arguably the worst crime he’d ever committed in their 14-year partnership. Even when he was up to his neck in heartfelt guilt over the myriad of agonies she’d had inflicted on her by the consortium, he still had a clear conscience that at least he hadn’t directly been involved. This time, though, the consortium — old Smokey, Charlie, even that goose-stepping Strughold — were nowhere in sight. It had been him, all him and nothing but him.

He’d forgotten Valentine’s Day.

On a good day, a day when he could calmly look back — say twenty or thirty years in the future — he could convince himself that it wasn’t really his fault he forgot. VCS had gone to Skinner, there was a kidnapping in the Midwest that looked like similar kidnappings in recent months. Six and seven year old girls had been taken. So far no bodies had turned up but it was in the back of everyone’s mind that it would just be a matter of time before the body count started. Surprisingly, that had not been the case. So, while Scully waited back in DC for the call to do some particularly gruesome slicing and dicing, he had flown out with a cadre of agents to assist the Kansas City Regional Office in their investigation and hunt for the missing girls.

The fourteenth of February had dawned just one more day in a seemingly endless case. But luck had been on their side and the farmhouse twenty miles outside KC had been raided, all three girls had been found — miracle of miracles, unharmed. The press conference was set up within hours of arresting the perpetrator — a grade school janitor who had been fired months before — and getting the girls to the hospital and the reunions with their families. All agents were required to attend — the Bureau needed all the brownie points it could get with the press in the days of Senate and House investigations. Mulder had showered, still going on only two short catnaps in a little over 48 hours, and put on a fabulous display for the media types. Wolf Blitzer had even joked that the country’s hearts where with the good guys and it still didn’t register with him why hearts would matter so much.

When the press conference broke, he’d found his way back to the hotel. The message light was blinking on the phone on the nightstand, but in his sleep-deprived state he’d ignored it as he collapsed face first on to the bed. He awoke as one of the agents was pounding on his door, telling him they were going to be late for the airport if he didn’t get a move on.

They’d taken the red-eye back to DC. He arrived at Dulles at the unholy hour of 1:25 am. Rather than wake Scully, he’d grabbed a cab — paying through the nose for the ride to Georgetown. He climbed the steps to their townhouse and wearily entered. As he stood at the bottom of the stairs leading to their bedroom all the energy seeped from his body. He turned right, dropped his briefcase on an armchair and with his coat still on, laid down on the sofa and was fast asleep before his head fully rested on the couch pillow.

When he woke up from the light streaming in their front window, he found his shoes off his feet, a blanket thrown over him and the smell of coffee in the kitchen. He wandered toward the wondrous elixir, shedding his overcoat and suit coat and tie as he went. There was a note on the fridge from Scully. She’d been called to Quantico to sub for a pathology teacher out with the flu. She promised to be home on time for dinner. Not a word about the preceding holiday, nothing to clue him in at all.

He showered, thought about calling in ‘asleep’, but opted to go to the office. Before he even got to the elevator, his cell phone had gone off — Skinner’s assistant Kim was calling him up to a meeting to discuss the recently completed case. He pushed the up button on the elevator and rode in silence with the rest of the occupants.

Once in Skinner’s outer office, he noticed a distinct floral aroma and saw a bouquet of roses gracing Kim’s usually tidy but bland desk. “Nice flowers,” he’d commented as she winked and ushered him into the inner sanctum, where he was soon required to report in detail on the actions of the previous four days. All thought of the flowers and their potential meaning were completely wiped from his mind.

The meeting lasted so long that Skinner had Kim send out for sandwiches. They broke once and Mulder high tailed it to the men’s room. Not paying attention to anything but his business, he couldn’t help but overhear a few of the other agents complaining about how long the wait had been at a specific upscale restaurant the night before and how the wait staff seemed to clear the table in a hurry, almost rushing diners out the door. That was the first time it occurred to him that something was amiss. It sounded like the place was overbooked. That usually happened only on the weekends. The night before had been a weeknight, he was sure of it. He even checked his watch and saw that yes, it was Thursday the fifteenth, just as he’d thought. Something about that date tickled against the back of his mind, but he shook his head and promptly busied himself with washing his hands before returning to his meeting.

The rest of the meeting was mind numbing in its attention to detail. Every action, every scrap of data, every lead was agonized over in an attempt to quantify the rare success where everyone was alive. The case against the perpetrator had to be airtight before it was handed over to the Kansas City US District Attorney’s office for prosecution. It was nearly eight o’clock when Skinner finally agreed that they had done enough for one day and everyone was free to go home for the night.

Mulder dragged his body up out of the chair at Skinner’s conference table and headed for the elevators. He thought briefly about making a quick stop at their basement office, but decided against it. Scully had promised she would be home for dinner, he only prayed that meant she was planning on preparing said dinner for the two of them. So, with a mind fogged with repeated facts about a case he would just as soon file away in the drawer and a body still suffering serious sleep depravation, not to mention hunger pangs, Fox Mulder finally found himself on the way home.

Scully indeed had dinner on the table. It was beef stew, canned. She had added some celery and some Worcestershire sauce, but it wasn’t exactly what he had hoped to find. Still, the grumbling in his stomach was loud enough that he finished his plate in no time flat. If Scully had made dinner table talk, he would have been able to pass a polygraph that he hadn’t been present in the room, he was that tired. With a kiss to the crown of her head, he mumbled something resembling ‘thanks’ and headed up to their bedroom where he just barely managed to shuck his clothes before crawling under the covers and falling into a deep and dreamless sleep at just barely nine o’clock p.m.

So it was that Mulder didn’t even come to find out about his most serious of omissions until Friday, the sixteenth of February. Again, Scully was called to fill in at Quantico. Since it would take her a full hour (due to rush hour traffic around the Capitol City) to get to her eight o’clock class, she left while Mulder was still sawing logs. He awoke to the alarm, showered, gulped down a cup of coffee that Scully had left warming in the kitchen and hurried off to work, blissful in his ignorance.

He always hated coming to their office when Scully was off somewhere else, even if he knew exactly where she was. The office seemed darker, colder without her. He looked up through their ‘window’ high on the basement wall — it was gray outside, more than likely a harbinger of snow. He put his coat on the hook, picked up the mail from in front of the door and was sorting through it as he walked around to sit down at his desk. When he sat on something — something that crinkled under his dress pants, he quickly got up and stared down at his chair.

A plain white envelope, not business sized but the kind cards came in, lay slightly wrinkled on the seat of his chair.

Putting down the mail in his hands, he gingerly picked up the envelope. There was no writing on the outside, but holding it up to his nose he detected Scully’s signature perfume — one he’d given her for Christmas. A love note? At the office? They weren’t above such little endearments around the house, but at the office where anyone could walk in and see it?

As if feeling the eyes of some intruder upon him, he glanced fearfully at the door. No one in sight. Still, he walked over and shut the door solidly before daring to open the envelope.

What he found caused his blood to freeze and his heart to stop beating. It was a card. A Valentine, to be exact. And to make matters much worse, it wasn’t a card that she found going through the selection at the local card shop. No, she had made this one, using their computer and color printer at home.

The card was simple. Two heart outlines, interlocked in the corner. A simple red border. No frills. No doves and rainbows. Classic. Even the font for the words was pure, direct. No curlie-ques and lace. Just words that went straight to his soul.

“To My Partner

My Love”

On the inside it continued: “Mulder, you are the joy of my heart, the love of my life, the man of my dreams, the center of my world.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Love forever and always,

Your Scully”

Valentine’s Day? Oh, shit on a shingle — VALENTINE’S DAY! He’d freakin’ completely forgot about Valentine’s Day! And what was worse, Scully had remembered. When they’d first become intimate, when they took that gigantic step and admitted their feelings to themselves and each other, he’d made a vow to himself. He would never become his father. He remembered running home on Valentine’s Day as a child so that he could present his mother with his own hand drawn creation. He also remembered that his card and his alone was the only way she could mark the occasion. Even before Samantha was taken, his father was never one for public displays of affection. No roses, no cards, no candlelit dinners for two at some quiet little seafood place on the Vineyard. Never for his mother. But he vowed that he would do better by his Scully.

He was torn between rage at himself and grief for what he had done to Scully when there was a loud knock on his door. “Agent Mulder, are you in there?” boomed Skinner’s voice.

Mulder opened the door, card still clutched in his hand. Skinner stood there a moment, regarding him coolly. “Mulder, is something wrong? You look — did someone die? Not Mrs. Scully . . .”

“No, no sir, nothing like that,” Mulder said brokenly. “C’mon in.” He went around to his chair once more and sat down despondently.

“If no one died — Mulder, what did you do?” Skinner asked tersely, his arms crossed.

Mulder handed over the card without a word. Skinner scanned the card, looked his agent over once again and slowly shook his head. “Don’t tell me — you forgot Valentine’s Day?”

Mulder’s answer was to prop his elbows on his desk and cover his face with his hands.

Skinner propped his hip on the edge of the desk, laying the card down on the blotter. “Valentine’s Day was Wednesday, Mulder. You’ve been home for a full day since then.”

“I know,” Mulder whimpered through his fingers.

“It’s the same day every year. I mean it’s not like they hide the date or any-thing,” Skinner rambled on.

“I know, I know, I know. There were clues, I just didn’t pick up on any of them. Kim’s flowers, the guys in the toilet talking about the wait at Michel Richard Citronelle on a Wednesday night, the fact that Scully got home early enough to make dinner and all I got was canned beef stew — ” He raised his face from his hands, his expression one of total dismay. “Walter, I really effed it up good this time.”

Skinner nodded his head in total agreement. “Mulder, you have to do some-thing. If Scully is pissed at you — ”

“My life is in the toilet,” he said, rubbing his face briskly and leaning back in his chair. “I’m fielding all suggestions at this point.”

“Flowers,” Skinner said firmly.

“Total cliche. I refuse to be the guy who has to bring her flowers because he for-got the anniversary.”

“Candy?”

He glared at his boss, who quickly relented.

“Oh, yeah, last year’s near tragic bon-bon poisoning. Forgot about that one. OK, diamond jewelry!”

“Walt, I forgot Valentine’s Day — I didn’t sleep with a Hill staffer! Besides, I have to have something to give her for her birthday in a week.”

Skinner put his hand on Mulder’s shoulder. “Look, you just completed a very im-portant and very stressful investigation. You’re owed some flex time. Take it. Get out of here right now — that gives you most of the day. And don’t show your face until you make this up to her — preferably by Monday at 8 am. Got that?”

Mulder looked up gratefully at his superior. “I’ll consider that an order, sir,” he said with a wistful expression.

On his way home, he panicked. This was more than just a casual ‘oh, yeah, it is February 14, isn’t it?’ This was a screw up that could potentially lead to disaster. Today, Valentine’s Day, tomorrow would he forget to kiss her goodbye or would they tumble into bed and not even touch hands before falling to sleep? It wasn’t the big things that drove wedges between people, it was often an accumulation of little things that built up over time, much like the Grand Canyon started as a little trickle of water. Well, their trickle was going to stop, if he had anything to do with it!

He knew that Scully wasn’t the hearts and flowers kind of girl that a lot of women were. She was no nonsense in her outlook on romance. Lacy black teddies and satin sheets never made an appearance in their sex life. Even so, in Mulder’s humble opinion, she _deserved_ hearts and flowers and rose petals covering the bed and scented baths with candles surrounding —

An idea was starting to form in the back of his mind. He’d have to make a few stops first, but he was sure he could pull it off in the time allotted. But he would definitely need to call for back up.

Mulder and Scully’s residence

6:35 pm

Scully pulled the car into the parking space off the alley and sighed. She’d com-pletely forgotten how tiring teaching could be. She’d been on her feet all day long, and when she’d taken half an hour for a lunch break, one of the recruits had tracked her down in the cafeteria for an impromptu tutoring session on blood splatter patterns. All she wanted to do was crawl into a nice hot tub and stay there until Monday.

She noticed Mulder had beaten her home. Poor guy — he’d been exhausted since his return from the case out in Kansas City. Both of them were going to sleep in on Saturday, if she had anything to say in the matter! She grabbed her briefcase and wondered if Mulder would have had the presence of mind to call for a pizza. No, probably not. She debated dialing as she walked, but decided she wouldn’t be able to juggle the cell phone, her briefcase and the back door all at once. The pizza could wait till she got to the phone in the kitchen.

She was fumbling for the right key when she saw the post it note stuck to the glass of the storm door. “Use the front entrance,” it read in Mulder’s distinctive scrawl. Oh dear. What had he done to the kitchen? It must have been bad if he was shooing her away from the scene of the crime. She sighed and headed around to the front of the duplex by the little sidewalk that bordered the house.

There was another note on the front door. It read “shed your coat and briefcase and follow the hearts — clothing optional” and had a large arrow complete with ‘feathers’ pointing up the stairs. Scully smiled to herself and hung up her coat, placing the briefcase on the little table by the door. Slipping off her shoes, she crept up the stairs, avoiding the step that squeaked. Along the way she took note of several red construction paper hearts with paper lace doilies. They looked like the work of the average 10 year old, but she sensed her partner’s artistic talents in the endeavor. She started to head to their bedroom when she heard the water lapping in the bathroom and saw the very large heart taped to the door. There were several aromas coming from behind the closed door, not the least of which appeared to be roses.

She opened the door and was immediately entranced by the glimmering sight before her. Several dozen votive candles sparkled in tiny glass cups on every flat surface of the room. Rose petals were scattered all over the floor, a vase with at least a dozen blood red roses graced the vanity. There was a champagne bucket with a wine bottle chilling next to the tub. And in the tub sat her partner up to his chest in water, sipping from a wine flute and nibbling a piece of shrimp.

“Scully, lose the clothes. You’re chillin’ the mood here,” he chided. “Hurry, be-fore the water gets cool!”

She didn’t need to be told twice. In just a few seconds she’d escaped the confines of her business suit and had returned to lower herself into the fragrant water of the tub. “Mulder, there are rose petals,” she whispered in awe as her hands skimmed the delicate pink and red blossoms floating atop the water.

He busied himself with her champagne flute. “There’s more food in the bed-room. Some brie, some fruit, nothing heavy. Oh, and for after our bath.” He fished around in the water and pulled up a tube of massage oil, warming in the water.

“You finally remembered Valentine’s Day,” she said with a loving smile.

“The most romantic day of the year? How could I forget? I’m partnered with the most beautiful woman in the world. A guy would have to be a total cad to forget Valentine’s Day when he gets to spend it with you, Scully. Admittedly it’s a couple of days off the calendar — but here, tonight, it’s Valentine’s Day.”

She leaned against him, her back to his chest and sipped her wine. “OK, Mulder. You’re forgiven. This time.”

“I sense a ‘but’ coming . . .” he countered.

“No, I’m just wondering how in the world you’re going to top this — for my birth-day next week.”

She wasn’t sure if the groan was from the kiss she bestowed on him but she de-cided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

the end

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First Star to the Right

First Star To The Right

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**

The tickets had been a complete surprise to her when she’d opened the box Mulder had given her on Valentine’s Day. Expecting some sort of suggestive lingerie in the carefully wrapped box from Victoria Secret she’d found instead and elegant negligee and two tickets to this weekend’s performance of Eugene Onegin at the New York Met. He wouldn’t tell her any of the details, only that she needed to dress for a “very expensive” evening on the town and to bring an overnight bag that preferably contained said negligee.

“You ready?” Mulder asked as he stepped into the office and grabbed his coat.

“You’re sure we have everything done?”

“We were supposed to be out of here by noon if you remember correctly. I just handed off the last of the year-end reports to the man upstairs and got his blessing,” he informed her, lifting her coat from its hook and beckoning her into it by holding it open for her. “Let’s get out of here before the phone rings.”

**

“What time is our flight?” Scully asked shortly after they left the parking garage. Though he had never said she assumed they were catching the shuttle up to New York, there certainly wasn’t time to drive up.

“Whatever time the limo gets us there.”

The comment from him was so nonchalant that his response didn’t sink in at first. It wasn’t until she watched a white stretch limo pull away from the curb in front of them that the word “limo” registered.

“Limo?”

“Yeah,” he replied, turning to catch her eye with a quirk of his lip. “I just need to call them after I’ve had a chance to make myself beautiful. But in answer to your question, we need to be in the air no later than four. Our dinner reservations are at six.”

“OK.” She glanced down at her watch; they’d be home in a few minutes. That would give her a good hour or more to primp herself. “Do I get time in the bathroom to make myself beautiful too?”

“How much time do you need? You’re already beautiful.”

She knew he was teasing her. Mulder wasn’t known for comments like that. Most of their relationship was based on assumption. They both knew how the other felt. It didn’t mean she didn’t appreciate a compliment from time to time and it made her smile.

“I hope I’m not going to need hip boots or a towel this evening Mulder…”

“Why whatever do you mean, Ms. Scully?”

“I’m just wondering how thick you intend to spread it on tonight.”

He eased the car down the alley and pulled into the open spot behind their town house slipping it into park. “Let’s just say you need to forget who you are tonight,” he told her, his voice slipping into that soft baritone that made her shiver. “Forget the guns and the conspiracies and the shady informants and pretend you’re a lovely maiden and that I’m your handsome albeit slightly damaged knight in shining armor, sans armor of course, who has come to whisk you off to a land far, far away in his obscenely expensive chartered Lear carriage and — go with it.”

Lear carriage? “Mulder?” She reached across the front seat to take his right hand from the steering wheel. “What have you done?”

“Tonight, Scully,” he told her turning her hand over in his own and meeting her eyes. “We are not who we are.”

She watched as he leaned down and kissed the back of her hand ever so softly.

**

When she came out of the bathroom Mulder was standing in front of her dresser wrestling with his tie. “Have I ever told you how much I hate these things?” he asked when he noticed her observing his frustration. While his attention was drawn to the tie she took a moment to observe him in a different way. He had on a white on white striped shirt and black slacks that on closer inspection of the fabric had a fine gray pin stripe in them. The tie that he finally seemed to be satisfied with was a dark silver gray on gray print. Despite his abundance of t-shirts and jeans, the man or his tailor, she amended noticing the Armani label in the jacket he had carelessly tossed on the bed, had good fashion sense.

“Ta Da!” he exclaimed, turning around to face her with his arms spread out. “What do you think?”

“I think you clean up real well, Sherlock,” she commented with a smile fingering the fabric as she sat down on the bed next to his jacket. “New suit?”

“And one I promise not to wear while diving in sewers, investigating manure factories or being shot at,” he told her reaching to pick up the jacket from the bed.

“I’ll keep you to that promise you know.”

“Good. I’m gonna call and have them pick us up at three-fifteen,” he told her, glancing at the watch she’d given him just a few days ago before picking up his black leather overnight bag. “See you downstairs.”

She sat on the bed for several minutes after he’d disappeared down the stairs wondering if there was something else behind this sudden venture into the extravagant besides a Valentine gift. The disturbing thought that there was something he wasn’t telling her played in her mind but he’d promised a long time ago not to keep things from her. He wanted her to be the fair maiden tonight and the thought made her smile. It was time to become his lady in waiting.

**

The click of her heals on the aged wood floor of their foyer made him look up. He’d been standing in front of the living room window with both hands in his pockets, his suit jacket falling back against his forearms, one foot slightly in front of the other, a perfect pose for GQ magazine she imagined. His lip curled ever so slightly as he watched her set her own bag down next to his. Suddenly self-conscious she could feel his eyes on her as she crossed the floor to where he was standing. “New dress?” he asked.

She’d found it in Saks on an after Christmas shopping expedition with Tara. It was Tara who had talked her into it when she complained she would never have anywhere to wear it. It suddenly seemed like a conspiracy and she chuckled inside herself. The dress, an interesting version of “the little black dress” had a V neck and three quarter length sleeves but it had been the handkerchief tea length skirt that had caught her eye. The black fabric had a slight shimmer to it making it elegant despite its simple style.

“Tara talked me into it,” she told him when he put his arm around her and drew her to his side.

“Remind me to thank Tara.”

“You haven’t told me where we’re staying in New York,” she questioned, a gentle smile pulling at her lips with his compliment.

“I didn’t tell you we were staying in New York did I?”

Just like him…to evade the question she thought.

“Come here,” he beckoned, taking her hand and leading her to the mirror in front in the foyer. “One more thing before the limo gets here. Close your eyes.”

She heard the rustle of his suit jacket and then he was draping something around her neck, the metal falling against her skin just above the V of her dress. “Mulder, what is this?” she asked trying to reach up and touch it but he grabbed her hand, clutching it in his own.

“A very late Valentine or very early birthday present,” he told her. “Ok, open your eyes.”

Twinkling against her skin was a gold circular pendant lined with tiny diamonds.

“It’s the ring you won’t let me buy you for your finger,” he told her softly when the reflection of his eyes met hers in the mirror. She studied him for a moment trying to determine if there was any hurt or regret in that statement. “You know,” he finally continued. “It will be kind of like high school.”

She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry until she saw the mirth in his expression and they both laughed.

“So this means we’re going steady?”

He didn’t get a chance to answer when the doorbell rang announcing their limo had arrived.

**

The limo had brought them to a private hangar away from the bustle of the larger terminal. On the tarmac in front of them Mulder’s Lear carriage was warming up. He hadn’t been kidding when he’d told her about the charter earlier in the car. While their driver was pulling their bags from the car a pristinely uniformed gentlemen helped her from the warmth of the vehicle. “Welcome to Sky Charters Ms. Scully,” he offered as Mulder climbed out behind her. “I’m Jess Humphrey, your co-captain on this flight. We’ll be ready in just about ten minutes, Mr. Mulder,” he said after making sure Scully was safely out of the limo.

“Thank you,” he told the young man turning to look at Scully who seemed to be hesitant to climb aboard the shiny craft. Even after years of crossing the country and half the world enumerable times she still hated to fly. “Just think happy thoughts, Scully,” he told her reaching out to grab her hand. She smiled at the twinkle in his eye. He was having too much fun with this for her not to play along.

Climbing inside the fuselage of the plane was like stepping into a well-equipped motor home. To the left of the door was a small crew quarters. “Welcome aboard, my name’s Katlin,” Scully turned to the young woman who was standing just past the galley to her right. “Can I take your coat?”

Mulder helped her shrug out of the coat and handed it off to Katlin before peeling off his own. Scully took the opportunity to survey the interior of the plane. Two cream-colored leather couches sat on either side of a nice coffee table. There were also two recliner type chairs of the same cream leather and a large flat screen television built into a bar at the back of the compartment.

It surprised her when Jess appeared from behind a door panel just to the left of the television. “I put your bags in the back for you. Everything you requested is on board Mr. Mulder. I’ll go check with Captain Reese; we should be just about ready to taxi out.”

That was two ‘Mr. Mulder’s’ in the past few minutes with no correction from Mulder to ‘just Mulder’. It occurred to her that he was enjoying the royal treatment as much as she was.

“There’s a bedroom and bath in the back if you need to freshen up,” Jess motioned through the door where he had just come before continuing past them heading for the cockpit. “We just ask that you remain seated during take off and landing unless the Captain has the seatbelt sign on,” he advised turning to Mulder with a knowing look.

Scully wandered to the back of the plane. There was indeed a nicely appointed bathroom and in the bedroom, a bed that took up most of the rear compartment.

“Well, what do you think?” Mulder asked, his hands coming to rest on her shoulders.

“I think you have more than the opera up your sleeve.”

“I was hoping you’d say that.” His voice was soft in her ear just before he place a gentle kiss on the side of her neck.

“The Captain asks that you both take your seats.” Katlin’s voice came from behind Mulder. They both turned around a little sheepishly and followed her back through the hall. “I’ll be in the front cabin. If you need anything after we take off just hit intercom 3. Intercom 1 will get you the captain,” Katlin instructed pointing out the buttons on the arms of the chairs and couches. There was a heavy whoosh sound as Jess secured the cabin door and both he and Katlin disappeared into the front cockpit.

It was a short taxi out to the runway and the plane turned into position for takeoff. “Are you happy?” Mulder asked her, reaching over to take her hand.

“I’m having the time of my life, Mulder,” she answered, her eyes meeting his.

“Good, so am I.”

The plane was airborne before either of them suspected, banking gently to the right as the felt the landing gear doors shut below them.

“Good evening Ms. Scully, Mr. Mulder, this is Dale Reese, your captain,” the disembodied voice came from the speakers that lined the bottom of the overhead storage compartments along both sides of the plane’s cabin. “Airtime to New York should be just under forty minutes. That makes our arrival time five-twelve p. m. The limo will be there to take you into the city.”

“Thank you — Captain,” Mulder replied with a wink in Scully’s direction. She could tell by the way he hesitated that he had been about to say ‘Dale’.

“We’re expecting a smooth flight so please feel free to move about the cabin.”

She heard Mulder unclick his seatbelt just before his hand came to rest on her arm. She’d been watching the earth slip away from them from her window. “Should I raid the mini bar?” he asked.

**

Forty-five minutes later Jess was helping her down the steps onto LaGuardia’s tarmac. Mulder followed behind her, taking her arm and escorting her to the waiting limousine. The trip through the city to the theater district took them another forty minutes.

The Lincoln Center had become a landmark of the theater district since it’s completion in 1966. The Metropolitan Opera with its arched facade sat at the back of the plaza. As their limo turned off Broadway and into the drop off area Scully watched the beautiful building come into view. Their driver pulled the vehicle to the curb at the center of the plaza and stepped around to open the door for them. Mulder climbed out first and turned to elegantly offer her his hand. She smiled up at him, his eyes danced with the enjoyment of the moment. After receiving directions from the driver on how to contact him after the performance she slipped her hand under Mulder’s arm as they walked across the plaza. It was a chilly but thankfully dry New York evening and Mulder slowed his pace so she could take in the scene around her.

Once inside the building they opted to climb the sweeping staircase rather than take the elevator up to the restaurant. The Grand Tier Restaurant had the same contemporary elegant feel as the rest of the building. Mulder checked their coats and they were escorted into the restaurant. She wasn’t sure if the heads that turned as they walked across the room were for herself or her partner — all she knew was that together they made a striking couple. The Matre-de showed them to a table with a window view of the plaza. Someone had taken a lot of time preparing for this evening.

“How long have you been planning this?” she asked him after they had been seated.

“I still have connections you know,” he mocked back at her.

“Their names wouldn’t be Larry, Curly and Moe would they? Seriously, Mulder,” she reached across the table and touched his sleeve. “This is absolutely wonderful, I don’t know why I deserve this but right now I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.”

“You deserve more than this for putting up with me Scully,” he told her, placing his hand on top of hers. “Consider this a make-up for all the Valentine’s and birthdays and any other time I’ve neglected to tell you what you mean to me.”

She was about to reply with much the same comment when the waiter appeared with a bottle of wine and two crystal glasses. “This is compliments of Magic Bullet Publications, Sir,” he told Mulder as he presented him the bottle of wine. “Shall I open it for you?”

“By all means, yes, please,” he replied struggling to keep the smirk from his face.

She knew Mulder was no wine connoisseur but she enjoyed watching him swirl the light burgundy liquid in the glass and take a sip.

“Shall I pour some for the lady?” the waiter asked.

“Please,” he said, tilting his glass towards her.

**

Dinner had been wonderful. She’d declined a second glass of wine. It would have been her third for the evening if she included the one Mulder had poured her on the plane. He however, didn’t hesitate at the offer before their waiter offered to re-cork the bottle so that they could come back during intermission and enjoy the rest with dessert. Not knowing much about wine she figured it was probably a fairly expensive bottle and even the waiter didn’t want to see it go to waste.

Their seats were in on the same level as the restaurant. The usher showed them to the third box to the left of the stage. As she sat down Mulder handed her the binoculars he’d rented and a copy of the program.

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin was a well-known example of lyric opera; the libretto retaining much of the poetry of Aleksandr Pushkin’s original novel. The story concerned a selfish hero, Onegin who lived to regret his rejection of a young woman’s love, Tatyana, and his careless incitement of a fatal duel with his best friend. It was a very romantic piece.

“This is in Russian; do you want to use the Met titles?”

“Hmmm?”

“I asked,” he said with a soft grin as she pulled her eyes from the pages of the program and watched him tap the small screen in front of her. “Met titles…the English version of the story…you can read along.”

“The music tells the story, Mulder. I’d just prefer to listen.”

“Fair enough.” He turned away from her, settling into his seat as the curtain began to rise.

**

By the end of the first act Scully was thoroughly entranced with Onegin. He reminded her of Mulder. He was not a man who gave his heart easily either; he’d kept it well guarded from her for the better part of the first five years of their partnership. So when Onegin rejected Tatyana’s love she in some respect, understood.

But in the second act Onegin flirted with his best friend’s fiancée, Olga, Tatyana’s younger sister in an act of revenge over some idle gossip. Lensky, Onegin’s best friend and he became involved in an intense quarrel over Olga and Lensky’s challenged Onegin to a duel. Onegin shot Lensky dead. Tears filled her eyes as she had reached for Mulder’s hand. She knew Mulder could never be that cruel.

In the final act, Onegin attended a ball in St. Petersburg. Onegin was reflecting on how empty his life had been since that fateful day when the nobleman and his wife had entered the ballroom. His wife was none other than Tatyana, now a beautiful woman. Onegin was desperate to regain her love.

The final scene takes place in the reception room of the palace after Tatyana had received a letter from Onegin. Onegin entered begging her for her love and pity, adamant that his passion was true. Tatyana, moved to tears admitted that she still loved him and spoke of how happy they could have been. In the end, she told Onegin that she must be faithful to her husband and leaves him alone in his despair.

The curtain dropped to a standing ovation. “Did you like that?” Mulder asked, turning to her and using the pad of his thumb to gently wipe the moisture from her eyelids.

“Did you like it?” she asked him back. He’d shown remarkable restraint in keeping his usual rambling diatribe of comments to himself during the whole performance.

“Yeah, you’d be surprised what a bottle of wine can do for your appreciation of the arts.”

She gave him “the look” and gathered up her belongings. During intermission they’d gone back to the restaurant and while she had savored a remarkable chocolate dessert and a cup of coffee, Mulder had finished off the bottle of wine. She knew it had given him a comfortable buzz.

“I’m glad you let me love you, Mulder,” she told him as she accepted his arm and he escorted her from their box.

While they waited at the coat check Mulder called for their limo. A light snow had begun to fall during the opera and as they exited the building a frosty coating covered the entire plaza. In their dress shoes it was slippery under foot. “If we go down I want us to go down together,” he told her, wrapping his arm around her and pulling her close to him.

“As long as I land on top of you…” She knew the comment was a mistake the moment it left her lips. It didn’t take him long for the comeback.

“I was hoping we could wait til we’re someplace a little warmer for that.”

They made it to the limo and climbed into its warm interior. Mulder wasted no time in unbuttoning his collar and loosening his tie and in a few minutes they were well on their way back to the airport.

**

The plane was already warming up when they arrived. The wind was picking up and it played with her wet hair as they crossed the tarmac and climbed inside. Mulder helped her out of her damp coat and handed it and his own to Katlin while Jess secured the door. “We should be underway shortly,” she told them. “If you need anything…”

“Just buzz,” Mulder finished for her.

She and Jess smiled and left them alone in the cabin.

They were airborne in less than twenty minutes and when the seat belt sign went off Mulder got up from his seat and slipped off his shoes. Scully watched him peel off his suit jacket and then came the tie. As he pulled his shirttail from his pants she decided that she was beginning to like this subtle stripe tease that he was doing and began to applaud him. He stopped short of unbuttoning his shirt and turned around. “Ta Da!” he mimicked again, spreading his arms. She laughed at this playfulness but was a little disappointed when instead unbuttoning the shirt he unbuttoned the cuffs and began to roll his sleeves. Slipping off her own shoes she watched him pop open the small refrigerator and take out another bottle of wine.

“Flight time to D.C. should be just about thirty-five minutes Mr. Mulder,” Reese’s voice sounded through the speakers. “Unless you have other instructions…”

“What do you say, Scully,” Mulder began to ask. “Can I talk you into joining the ‘Mile High Club’ with me?”

Scully didn’t answer, getting up from her seat and stepping to the bar where she grabbed two glasses and the bottle from Mulder’s hand. As she stepped through the doorway of the bedroom she threw a provocative glance over her shoulder. Behind her in the main cabin, she heard the click of the intercom button and then Mulder’s voice, “First star to the right and straight on til morning.”

“Yes Sir!” came Reese’s reply.

Broken Valentine

Broken Valentine

Author: Linda61

Summary: A short vacation to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a race and Mulder. That’s

trouble.

Written for Virtual Season 13 Valentine’s Day Special Event

Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.

comments: l.vanmaanen@chello.nl

clip_image001

When I told you to ‘break a leg’ I meant ‘good luck’ Mulder, not to break a leg for

real” Scully sighed, holding Mulder by his arm trying to get him down the stairs

without further accidents.

Scully thought back to that moment when it all started.

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

“I have a surprise for you Scully and don’t you dare say no.”

He showed her the brochures of Canaan Valley in West Virginia. “It’s only a four hour

drive, no planes Scully.” Scully’s eyes brightened. Although they had to fly a lot for

their work as FBI agents, she still didn’t like it and driving there together with Mulder

with no strangers around was very much appreciated. “I rented a cabin, it’s beautiful

and it’s a special Valentine’s Day offer.”

Mulder waited for her answer but when she didn’t react immediately, he started to

have his doubts

.

“I ..I..” Scully stuttered and peered at the brochure again.

“What Scully, don’t you like it?” He was a bit disappointed Scully didn’t react

favourably like he expected her to.

“Mulder, I love it, I think it’s a great idea. I was just stunned.”

“Yes? Yes!!” He took her in his arms and danced through the room dragging her with

him. “It’s going to be great, you’ll see!”

Scully took his hand. “I love you Mulder, I think this is going to be a fantastic

Valentine’s Weekend.”

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

After a couple of hours skiing, which wasn’t a daily thing for either of them, they

found a new route. Not too difficult, but it looked really great and the snow was

perfect. They decided to have a kind of ‘downhill race’. That should have been the

moment for the usually sensible Scully to say no of course, but they had so much fun

and she silently hoped to win so she wished Mulder to ‘break a leg’ and took off.

“You’re cheating Scully!” Mulder yelled, but then he pushed himself off too and ‘the

race’ really started. Scully was still leading, but because Mulder was heavier his

weight helped him to make more speed, so after a couple of minutes they were

skiing beside each other.

Mulder laughed and turned his head and stuck out his tongue while Scully made a

face back, but then she saw the big stack of snow that he was heading straight into

and she yelled: “Mulder watch out!!!”

“Nice try Scully” he yelled back but then he saw the heap too, way too late. He dove

right into it with a splat. Snow went everywhere, and Scully started to laugh.

“Nice butt Mulder” she giggled. She stopped next to him and wanted to pull him up

when she saw his stricken face.

“Don’t touch me Scully,” he moaned. “I think my leg is broken.”

“That’s not funny, stop fooling around.” She wanted to grab him again but then she

saw him gritting his teeth.

“Please Scully, help me! This is real!”

“Oh god Mulder, I’m so sorry, I thought you were joking.” She took off her skis and

knelt down, carefully taking his skis off too.

“Aaaaaahhh, don’t Scully, don’t touch me!” He put his head down in the snow, his

breathing too fast. “God it hurts, it hurts.”

“I know, hold on Mulder, I’ll get help” and she grabbed her cell phone. “Thank god

for cell phones” she mumbled, grateful that she seemed to have a signal on the LGM

special. After a couple of minutes on the phone, she more of less lay down beside

him holding his hand. “They’ll be here ASAP Mulder. Before you know it you’re in a

nice warm hospital bed, you’ll see.” She tried to make it sound like a joke but she

knew this was serious. Mulder was in great pain and the heavy ski boots didn’t make

it easier on him. Only the cold numbed the pain a little, but because he was covered

with it and getting sweaty and stressed after a few minutes he started to shiver.

“R..r..remmminnnnnnddd…mm..mmee

n.never…t..to..ss.sski..a..a..again..S.s..scullllly. I..I’m s..sso s.s.ssorryyy, ss..poiled

i.it a.a.agggain.”

Before she could answer she saw a couple of men skiing towards them, between

them a kind of sled resembling a weird kind a banana. “I think he broke his leg,

actually I’m sure he did.” Scully pointed at Mulder’s leg, which was currently bent in

a position that wasn’t natural.

“Ok, Ma’am, we’ll get him out of there in no time. Sir, I’m sorry but this is going to

hurt, only we’ll go as fast and as careful as we can ok? Just hold to your wife’s hand

nice and tight.”

“I’m not his… Oh never mind. Where’s the life flight helicopter? Will it be here

soon?”

“Sorry ma’am, no helicopter can land here. Snow is too unstable. We have to take

him down ourselves on the sled.”

Scully grabbed Mulder’s hand and squeezed it. “I’m sorry Mulder, this is not going to

be fun.”

Mulder looked at her trying to smile, but she could see the fear in his eyes. “I…it’s

o..okay.. S..s..scully.” But it wasn’t. The moment the men tried to turn him around,

his scream could be heard down echoing down the valley, but by the time Mulder

was lifted onto the sled he was panting and tears streamed down his cheeks. They

managed to get him into the hospital without further problems but Mulder was

exhausted. He was in terrible pain and so cold his lips turned blue and his teeth

chattered continuously. The doctors repaired his leg during a a two hour operation,

they had to put a pin in, but after that things went well for a change. Scully’s loving

smile greeted him as he came round from the surgery. She held his hand and kissed

it gently. He smiled before falling asleep again.

And so here they were a week later, at her mom’s place, trying to get down the

stairs. Mulder hopping on one leg, while Scully tried to steady him on the other side.

“Careful now, don’t go too fast.”

“I’m really sorry Scully” Mulder started.

“Mulder, I told you several times, there’s nothing to be sorry about, it’s not that you

did it on purpose and you didn’t ditch me. And if there’s someone to blame it’s me. I

told you to break a leg’. Only when I said for you to ‘break a leg’ I meant ‘good luck’

love, not to break a leg for real. Now concentrate. If you fall now I WILL be pissed

at you, I promise.”

Mulder sighed and hopped again.

“Be a good boy and I have a surprise for you Mulder” Scully said, seeing his sad face.

“A surprise? For me? Why?”

“Well, let me think. You took me on a wonderful trip….” Mulder opened his mouth

and wanted to interrupt. “Let me talk Mulder. As I was saying, you took me on a

wonderful trip, to a lovely cabin in a beautiful area. We were surrounded by

mountains and the weather was amazing. You just had bad luck to end up like this.

Yes Mulder, I think I owe you a surprise.

“But I spoiled it again Scully..”

“Weeeeell, I have to admit, we had a slight problem.”

“Slight?” Mulder squeeked.

Scully laughed. “Just hop Mulder, we’re not getting down anytime soon if you don’t

move.

Anyway, I thought you, and yes, I too needed something extra for Valentine’s Day,

even though it’s a couple of days late. But we don’t need a special day, we have us,

every day a special day again.”

His face brightened again. “Yes, yes you’re right, we have us. Always Scully. That’s

more important than a date on a calendar. We don’t need an excuse to be happy and

celebrate our love.” He whispered and almost choked on the last few words when

emotion struck him.

“One more step and we’re there, come on.”

“It’s about time you two, I almost came up to get you.” Maggie Scully took Mulder’s

other hand and helped him make the last step safely. “That’s it, be careful Fox.”

“If I hear one more time ‘to be careful’ I’m gonna scream.” He made a face and

Scully and Maggie started to laugh.

“Just come into the dining room so you can sit down and I’ll leave you two alone. I’ll

be out for the rest of the evening, playing cards with my friends.”

She winked at her daughter whose face immediately turned red. “Mom!”

“What, did you hear me say something?” She hugged her daughter and Mulder.

“Thanks Maggie,” Mulder said.

“You’re welcome Fox.” Turning around she said “I’ll be late, I’ll see you two

tomorrow, behave.”

Mulder and Scully could hear her laugh when she left the house. “I wonder what she

was thinking I could do with this stupid plaster all the way up to my crotch” Mulder

mumbled.

“I know some things I can do ‘Fox'” Scully whispered huskily in his ear. “First…..”

Mulder looked up: “Yeah?”

“….We eat.” Scully giggled, indicating the gorgeous meal her mother had prepared

for them, complete with candles and napkins and beautiful flowers set on the table.

It was a really romantic setting. “Bet you weren’t expecting that, were you?”

“Very funny.” Then he grabbed her and pulled her in his arms, gazing lovingly into

her eyes. “Thanks Scully, for this.”

“You’re so welcome Mulder. Happy Valentine.” He looked in her eyes, kissed her

and answered: “Happy Valentine too Scully.”

The End.

From the Heart

Title: From The Heart

Author: Foxglove

Category: Valentine’s Day

Summary: Scully doesn’t want a commercialized holiday. Mulder goes to great

lengths to give in to her heart’s desires.

Written for Virtual Season 13’s Valentine’s Day Special Event

Two weeks exclusive on the VS 13 site.

Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended.

comments: pstandford@vtown.com.au

clip_image001

Downtown D.C.

3rd February 2006

7.15pm

The jewelers store window was ablaze with soft lights, all designed to highlight

particular pieces, each of which was tagged with an outlandish price. Red and gold

paper hearts were strung strategically from invisible threads and a sign in bold

letters urged passers-by to remember their loved ones with something special this

year.

Mulder sighed and moved on, pulling his collar further up around his ears before

plunging cold hands back into the warm depths of his coat pockets. The sidewalk was

quiet this evening, only a few other hardy souls like him had braved the last of the

winter weather for a late night stroll. In just a few days, the shops would be

crowded, people all searching for that unique gift that would proclaim their devotion

and undying love to the individual that made up the other half of their heart.

Mulder was no exception.

The pharmacy drew Mulder’s attention; their window had a large display of perfumes

and colognes. He stopped and stared at the multitude of tiny multi-colored glass

bottles before disconsolately shaking his head and continuing up the street.

It wasn’t going to be easy this year. He was still wondering what on earth had

possessed him to agree to Scully’s conditions when she had first suggested them.

Perhaps the story was right about men not being able to do two things at once. He’d

certainly dug himself a rather large hole and he had only a few days left to un-dig

himself.

The conversation that had got him into this trouble came back to him easily as if it

had occurred five minutes ago, rather than last week.

Mulder and Scully’s Townhouse.

Georgetown.

26th January.

“Mulder.”

The television held his complete focus; the final quarter of the game and both teams

still had a chance at the championship. (He was pumping blood double time, in

anticipation of the outcome.)

“Mulder!”

“Yeah.” He answered lazily, sitting forward on the couch as the opposing team stole

the ball and headed down the court.

“I’m naked.”

“Uh huh.” His eyes flicked up to the score in the top corner of the screen and then

back down to the action.

“Frohike’s at the door, I’m going to let him in so he can sweep me off my feet.”

“Sure.” A cheer arose from the crowds as the ball play headed back to the home

team’s end. Mulder clenched his fists, his eyes wide. This was their chance. ‘Come

on.’ He urged silently.

A warm breath brushed his ear and he tipped his head towards it. “I want you.”

It took several seconds for the words to register in his brain and when they did, all

interest in the game fled at about the same time as his blood-fled south. He twisted

on the couch to look behind him and bumped up against a shapely, silk clad leg

draped along the top.

“Um, did I imagine it or did someone say they were naked?” He enquired, reaching

up and pulling the owner of the shapely, silk clad leg into his lap.

“Must have been your imagination.” Scully replied dreamily as Mulder’s lips found

their way to her neck.

“Nope, wasn’t my imagination.” He traced the outline of her breast under her sheer

blouse before fingering each button open, first revealing one lace covered breast and

then the other.

Scully tipped her head back and a low moan escaped her throat as she felt his

hardness under her.

“Do you know what you do to me?” He whispered against her skin.

“Yes.” Her reply was soft and drawn out. “The exact same thing that you do to me.”

A sudden harsh noise from the television lifted both their heads. A bright and

tasteless commercial had replaced the game. Hearts and flowers danced across the

screen as a woman urged viewers to remember to send their special someone an x-

rated message on the cell phone for only five ninety five.

Scully made a disapproving noise in her throat and fumbled under Mulder’s warm

butt for the remote control. “Why does everything have to be so commercialized?”

Disregarding the over the top advertisement, Mulder returned to his exploration of

Scully’s collarbone. “Not everything.” He mumbled. “You can’t buy this…or these” he

deftly squeezed her butt while pulling her closer.

She placed a hand against his chest and pushed him back slightly. “Oh come on

Mulder.” She clicked the screen off and tossed the remote down to the floor. “You

only have to look at the crap that’s being spouted on television and in the

newspapers.” She pulled herself upright ignoring the disappointment on his face. “Do

you know how much junk mail is generated at this time of year? How much Hallmark

makes for this day in particular?”

“Ah…no.”

“The mailbox is full every other day. Brochures urging you to buy jewellery and

perfume and great huge bunches of ludicrously priced flowers.” She stroked a finger

down the side of his face, which he attempted to catch between his lips. “There was

even one for a limited Valentines Day subscription offer for a gymnasium

membership.”

“Don’t need one.” Mulder attempted to return to his former position. “I give you all

the work out we both need.” His eyebrows did a familiar lecturous wiggle.

“Exactly my point, the whole concept of Valentine’s Day has been lost under the

weight of the almighty dollar. Like Easter and Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day.

It all comes down to money.”

“Mmm, it’s not necessary.” Mulder had managed to fasten his lips back under

Scully’s neck.

“No it’s not and that’s how I want to celebrate it this year.”

“Uh huh.” His tongue delved into the depression between her collarbones.

“I mean it Mulder, I don’t want you to spend any money on me this year.”

“If you say so.” His tongue was making a slow trek down to where his hands cupped

her breasts.

“Okay.” The single word passed Scully’s lips in a husky tone as she surrendered to

Mulder’s exquisite touch.

“Okay.” Mulder breathed. “You can’t get Hallmark cards x rated enough for what I

want to express right now.” he growled.

Downtown D.C.

3rd February.

7.30pm

His mind was a complete blank slate, not spending any money meant no flowers or

chocolates or sexy lingerie, no perfume, no jewellery. Not even a cute fluffy alien

toy.

He was stumped.

Mulder meandered on up the street, his mind seeking some way of showing Scully

just how much he loved her and needed her in his life.

A tiny bakery nestled in between two large and imposing shop fronts caught his eye.

The window was unlit but a light from the back of the store provided enough

illumination for him to see inside. Even they had a Valentine’s display.

His eyes passed quickly over the wares until a small package at the rear of the

window attracted his interest. The wrapping was amateur and the label handwritten

but it was the words that drew him in.

Ginger Kisses.

Mulder stepped back to find the name of the shop. Committing it to memory, he

began the walk back to the Hoover building and the case that awaited his input. It

was only when he was a block from his destination that he realized his predicament.

Scully had stipulated no money was to be spent. “Shit.” He cursed finding himself

back at his starting point.

He shook his head and hoped something would come to him before he had to resort

to breaking the conditions that he had agreed to.

Once back inside the building, Mulder shed his coat and went straight to the coffee

machine. One or two heads lifted as he passed their desk and he returned their

greetings. The coffee smelled fresh, for which he was supremely grateful. He reached

for the container on the table, aiming to sneak in an extra spoonful of sugar while

Scully wasn’t around to watch his back. Pulling the airtight lid off, he found not sugar

but cookies. He looked around the room wondering whom they belonged to while

inhaling their heavenly aroma.

No one jumped up and grabbed them back off him so he held the container aloft and

spoke aloud. “These belong to anybody?”

Agent Elliott Burns looked up. “Yeah, McDermott brought them in, his wife’s on a

home cooking kick. Might as well grab some, they’re good.”

Mulder took two and headed for his temporary desk. He placed the cookies on a

piece of paper to avoid crumbs and sipped at his coffee. The computer monitor lit up

at his touch as he reached for a cookie.

The flavor hit him with the first mouthful; closing his eyes in delight he took another

bite. Suddenly, an idea occurred to him, if he couldn’t buy anything, what about

making something. Surely that wouldn’t be breaking their agreement.

Mulder logged onto his computer and went straight into Google, within seconds he

was being overwhelmed with recipes and ingredients for everything from ‘Nanna’s

Homemade ginger Slice’ to ‘Ye Olde Fashioned Ginger Kiss’. He put his head in his

hands and stared at the screen in bewilderment.

How in the world could anyone decide which home baked product was better than

another, or would set Scully’s discerning taste buds alight. He sat there rocking up

and down on his chair for several minutes until inspiration hit. He checked his watch,

it was only just after eight pm, she shouldn’t be in bed already at this time of the

night.

Maggie Scully’s House.

“Hello?” Maggie wondered who would be calling at this time of night. “Oh Fox, how

are you dear?” She listened for a moment to his rambling explanation and smiled.

“That is such a thoughtful idea, how can I help?” Nodding her head, she made a note

on the pad beside the phone. “I have the perfect recipe for you, all the children loved

it when they were little.” A small pain pricked at her heart as she realized that out of

four children, two of whom were still alive, Dana was the only one she was ever

liable to see.

“So when do you want to do this?” Maggie held the phone away from her ear as a

startled squawk sounded. “No Fox, it’s your idea, I’m quite willing to help, but I

won’t do it for you.”

She spoke for a few more minutes arranging times so as not to arouse her

daughter’s suspicions and then hung up, shaking her head in amusement.

Hoover Building

8.10pm

Mulder replaced the phone on his desk and stared at it. What had he gotten himself

into? Men didn’t cook; well yeah they did if it was a barbeque or bacon and eggs for

breakfast, but cookies. They required skill, patience and timing or he would end up

with a pile of unappetizing goop. Nothing that would bestow the innermost feelings

of his heart to Scully from the fruits of his labors, but more likely show what an inept

jerk she had chosen to spend her life with. He straightened his shoulders and stared

at the item on his desk that had gotten him into this predicament. Reaching out, he

snagged the solitary cookie and took a healthy bite. Again the flavor claimed his

senses and he knew, homemade products had a taste that just couldn’t be replicated

by mass production. He finished it off, had another swallow of coffee and turned to

his report.

Maggie Scully’s House

10th February.

The kitchen certainly wasn’t as clean as it had been this morning, a puddle of milk

had dribbled down one cupboard door and now pooled on the floor, large floury

footprints that tracked back and forth between the counter and the fridge were

visible on the floor, but Maggie understood and accepted that fact as she watched

Fox Mulder gamely stirring a large bowl of dough with a wooden spoon. He held the

bowl with one hand to stop it from slipping on the bench while he jerkily moved the

spoon around in circles, little flash of pink tongue wetting the side of his month in

deep concentration. Like he was one with mixture…almost like he could be profiling

it.

Maggie touched his arm gently. “Here, let me give you a hint.” She laughed gently as

he held the bowl out to her like an eager 3 year old, a hopeful expression in his eyes.

“No, I said a hint, not a hand.”

“This isn’t as easy as I thought.” He admitted with a frown.

“It gets easier through practice.” Maggie assured him. “Now, tuck the bowl under

your arm, it gives you better leverage.” She placed his arm securely around her

mother’s favorite old mixing bowl and showed him how to move the spoon through

the dough with the least effort but greatest results.

“Wouldn’t this be easier with an electric mixer?” Mulder wondered, his arm feeling

like lead.

“Oh goodness no.” She replied in dismay. “The only way to do it properly is with a

wooden spoon, electric mixers have their place but not with this recipe.”

“If you say so.” Mulder groaned and continued moving the spoon in what he hoped

was the correct method, trying to stop stray lumps of dough from flying all over the

kitchen fittings.

Finally, the dough was mixed to Maggie’s satisfaction. She showed Mulder the next

step and as he worked with the rolling pin, she rummaged around in her bits and

pieces drawer for the utensil she had in mind.

Finding it, she ran her finger around the edge, thinking about the last time it was

used.

“Maggie, is this okay?”

“Oh I’m sorry Fox, I was thinking.”

“Good thoughts I hope.” He asked wiping his hand across his cheek and leaving a

streak of flour behind. God, this was exhausting. But reminded himself soundly that

this was a labor of love…for his Scully. No smaller effort would do.

“Oh yes, very good thoughts.” Maggie reached up and wiped his face with a damp

towel as Mulder grinned sheepishly. “I was trying to remember when I last used this

cookie cutter. It was on the occasion of our twenty-eighth wedding anniversary. I

made my husband toast with it.”

Mulder gently took the heart shaped object from her and turned it over in his hands.

“It’s perfect.” He whispered.

“Now I’ll tell the reason why you need so much dough. My daughter for all her fussy

ways, adores these kisses with a cream filling, so we need a top and a bottom for

each one.”

Maggie set Mulder to work cutting out the shapes, as he did, she laid each one on a

lined tray until finally it was time to place them in the oven. Maggie closed the door

and set the timer, then dusted her hands off and looked around her goop-spattered

kitchen. “Now it’s time for the hard part.”

Mulder gulped. “I thought we’d done that.”

“Oh no, that was the fun part, cleaning up is the hard part.”

Mulder’s shoulder’s sagged with relief. “Is that all? I thought you meant something

really hard.”

“Tell you what.” She smiled. “Why don’t you start on that side, I’ll put the coffee on

and by the time we’ve finished, these should be too.” She gestured at the oven.

“I can do that.” Mulder agreed, flicking at a blob of dough from his eyelash.

“You’d be surprised at what you can do.” Maggie told him placing a gentle hand on

the side of his floury face. Delighted that he though so much of her daughter to go to

all this effort, despite the mess he’d made.

Mulder and Scully’s Townhouse.

14th February 2006

7.25pm

Scully groaned with relief as she closed the door and eased her shoes off. Back to

back autopsies were not her idea of fun and to have to do them on today of all days.

She called out for Mulder but received no reply. A note propped against a vase with a

single white winter crocus in it summoned her to the bathroom. She raised an

eyebrow.

Scully entered their softly lit bathroom and exclaimed at the sight that awaited her.

A full steaming bath stood before her. She sniffed the air; she could smell the

heavenly scent of jasmine wafting from the water. As she moved into the room she

saw two crocuses, their stalks interwoven, laying over another piece of paper.

‘Please make full use of the amenities.’

Scully turned and called for Mulder again, when there was no answer, she shrugged

and hurriedly discarded her clothes, keen to immerse her tired body into the blissful

depths of the fragrant bath.

The water was delicious and she rested her head against the edge of the bath letting

the fragrant aromas seep into her senses and feeling all the tiredness gradually leave

her body.

Some time later, she opened her eyes to see Mulder perched on the lip, one hand

trailing in the soapy water, not quite touching her thigh. A warm smile lit her face.

“Are you going to join me?” She purred. He had that hooded sexy look that drove

her to distraction and made her want to pounce on him.

“No, this is for you.” He reached out and took her questing fingers in his large hand

and kissed each finger in turn, all the while locking his eyes with hers like two warms

pools of liquid hazel. “When you’re ready let me know.”

“Mmm, do I have to get out, can’t I stay here forever?” Scully closed her eyes again.

“Sure, but you might be sorry.” Mulder hinted mysteriously.

She sat up, her eyes wide open now. “Why, what do you have planned?”

“You’ll see, when it’s time.” Mulder leaned forward and brushed her lips softly with

his own. “Relax now.”

“Oh I can so do that.”

However, as much as Scully wanted to stay in the warm soothing water, Mulder’s

mysterious secret pricked her curiosity. She leaned forward to let the water out and

suddenly he was there wrapping her in a large fluffy, beautifully warm towel.

He led her to the bedroom, which was lit only by the glow of several candles.

Scented candles she noted as she moved towards the bed. The covers had been

folded back and a hand towel was placed neatly by the single pillow.

“Mulder?” She questioned looking from the bed to him and back again.

“Sshh, you’ll see.” He took her hand and guided her to the bed, where she lay face

down. Carefully pulling the towel away, he draped it over her hips before toeing off

his shoes and positioning himself on his haunches on the bed behind her. She heard

rather than saw him strip off his shirt. She squished her sudden Mona Lisa smile into

soft pillows….and sighed.

Scully moaned in sheer ecstasy as his large warm hands smoothed perfumed oil over

her shoulders and down her spine. “Oh God, Mulder.”

“Do you know the origin of St Valentine’s Day Scully?” Mulder’s voice washed over

her at the same time as his hands stroked her skin from hip to shoulder and back

again. Every now and then his chest hair deliciously tickled her back as he leaned

down to massage a particular set of muscles.

“No…” Her voice was as low as he had ever heard it.

Mulder began talking, the timbre of his voice swept over Scully in waves and she

sighed contentedly as his hands moved back and forth. “Valentine’s Day started in

the Roman Empire; in ancient Rome February 14th was a holiday to honor Juno, who

was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as

the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day the feast of Lupercalia

began.”

“Young boys and girls led strictly separate lives, but on the eve of the feast of

Lupercalia, they indulged in a favorite custom which was name drawing. The young

girls names were written on slips of paper and placed in a jar, each young man

would draw a name and would then partner the girl for the remainder of the festival.

Sometimes the pairings would last for the entire year and the couple fell in love and

would later marry.”

“That sounds so romantic.” Scully sighed.

Mulder continued his massage, repeatedly moving his hands lower until he pushed

the towel out of the way altogether.

“Mulder.” Scully wriggled.

“Sshh, let me finish. At this time in Rome the ruler was Claudius II, he was involved

in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. Claudius the Cruel had quite a bit of

difficulty getting soldiers for these crusades and blamed the men for not wanting to

leave their families or loved ones. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and

engagements in Rome. Valentinus was a Christian priest in Rome at this time and he

and Marius, another priest, aided the Christians in secretly arranging and performing

marriages. Eventually, Valentinus was apprehended and dragged before Claudius

who ordered him to be beaten to death and have his head cut off.”

A moan from Scully made him pause and he leaned over and whispered in her ear.

“It gets better.” He sat back, his hands smoothing over her silken skin. “Valentinus

suffered martyrdom on the 14th February in the year 270 AD. Legend has it that he

left a note for the jailer’s daughter who had become his friend that said “With love

from your Valentine. In 469 AD Pope Julius I built a church in his honor and

Valentinus was later declared a saint and duly honored.” Mulder sat back and wiped

his hands on the towel. “And there you have the story of Valentine’s Day. Of course

there are other theories that say mid February brings the first signs of spring and it

should be celebrated with the sun’s return to the earth and the promise of rebirth

and renewal of life.” He climbed off the bed, stretching luxuriously just as Scully

turned her head towards him, and picked up Scully’s satin robe.

“Come here, Scully.”

With some effort, Scully raised herself off the pillow and gazed at him with bliss filled

eyes. “I can’t, my bones are spaghetti.”

Mulder smiled. “Yes you can, you must be hungry by now.”

“I’m too relaxed to eat.”

“Come on.” He urged. “You’ll love what I’ve got for you.”

“Loving the floor show Mulder.” Scully sighed and slid off the bed, her skin tingled as

she slipped the robe over her newly relaxed shoulders. “Mulder, you haven’t let me

do anything for you.” Her eyes couldn’t help wandering south to his flimsy PJ

bottoms that seemed to fill out more as she looked.

“You do everyday.” He brushed his fingers across her full lips. “Just by being here

with me, accepting my crazy ass and loving me.” He led the way to the dining table,

which was set for two. Candles flickered in the still air and another vase filled with

more crocuses made up the centerpiece. Mulder seated Scully and went to the

kitchen. She heard the sound of crockery and then the beep from the microwave.

When he returned, he carried two plates heaped with steaming food.

Scully stared at her plate as he set it down before her. “This smells like my Mom’s

casserole.” She sniffed at the food. “This is my Mom’s casserole.” She looked up at

him with shining eyes. “This is exactly what I need.” She took his hand and placed a

kiss upon the back. “This is comfort food to me and after today, I could think of

nothing better.”

“I could.” He said mysteriously as he headed back to the kitchen.

Scully eyed his retreating figure with some trepidation, so far he had outdone

himself, she couldn’t even begin to think what else he had planned.

“Come on, eat up .” He urged as he set a bottle of wine down on the table. “You’re

going to need your strength.”

Scully smiled at his insinuation and started on her meal, so that’s how it was going

to be she thought. Well that suited her just fine. She watched Mulder as he ate

heartily.

He caught her glance and grinned. “What?” He asked.

“Oh nothing, just thinking how much I love you.”

Mulder stretched his hand across the table and closed it around hers squeezing

gently. “You make me whole Scully.” He said simply.

The remainder of the meal passed quickly; loving glances interspersed with tender

touches and quiet conversation. As soon as Scully placed her silverware on her

empty plate, Mulder was around her side of the table assisting her to her feet. He

took her hand and led her up the hall and into the living room. He left her standing

alone in the center of the room for a couple of seconds while he fiddled with the

stereo.

Soft music sounded and Scully closed her eyes swaying to the melody, a pair of

hands descended upon her shoulders and a warm voice spoke huskily in her ear.

“Dance with me?”

Scully nodded wordlessly and was enveloped in strong arms. They swayed to music

that she did not recognize but which had a dreamlike quality about it that attracted

her and made her want to lose herself in its depths. And in Mulder.

The music shifted to another track and Scully felt Mulder’s arms tighten around her,

she looked up and into his eyes, the passion that emanated from his intense hazel

stare made her tremble. A profound sigh issued from somewhere deep within her

and she laid her head against his smooth bare chest.

“Mulder…” She began.

“Sshh, just feel.” He murmured in a low voice.

A different track began and Scully felt Mulder shift, his lips brushed against her ear

as he whispered words of love.

Gently he slid the robe from her shoulders and let it drift to the floor; drinking in the

sight of her slender body he cupped her face and let his lips caress hers with the

softest of touches. Pulling back, Mulder gazed deeply into her eyes and then

descended for another kiss, this was nothing like the first; his tongue explored her

mouth and elicited a matching response. The world moved on, forgotten, as they

stood there wrapped in each other’s arms, safe for the moment.

Eventually Mulder drew back, his fingers fluttering over Scully’s face. “Close your

eyes.” He breathed.

Scully felt him move away and was immediately bereft. She stood silently, moving

gently in time to the music, impatient to once again feel his body under her hands.

The subtle sound of cloth rustling reached her ears and her eyes flickered open.

“Ah ah.” With the most sensitive of touches he brushed his fingers over her eyelids

keeping them closed. “Open your mouth.” He instructed.

She felt his hand under her chin as her lips opened. An aroma that was familiar but

that she just couldn’t place filled her senses as she bit into Mulder’s offering. An

explosion of taste had her eyes widening in surprise. “Oh.”

Mulder stood before her, holding the rest of the sweet confection. Scully dipped her

head, taking the remainder along with his fingers inside her mouth. Her tongue

flickered as she drew the remnants of sugariness from their tips.

Mulder’s mouth descended upon hers before he gathered her in his arms and carried

her to their bedroom. He laid her lovingly on the bed and stood back.

Her eyes alighted on the plate filled with more of the same delightful treats that

graced the bedside table. “You weren’t supposed to spend any money on me.” She

chided him gently.

“I didn’t.”

“I know you probably thought I meant I didn’t want to be showered with flowers and

perfume…”

Mulder leaned forward and pressed a finger against her lips. “The only thing I spent

was time and effort.” He assured her.

“And the effort is unquestionably appreciated.” Scully lifted another kiss from the

plate and held it out to her partner. “You must tell me where you bought these, they

remind me so much of my mom’s.”

“I didn’t buy them.” Mulder took a mouthful.

Scully looked at him wonderingly as his words finally registered. “I don’t

understand.”

“I made them.”

“You made them…” She was astounded.

“With a little bit of help from your mom.” His eyes twinkled.

Scully flung herself into his arms. Her lips found his as she attempted to

demonstrate just how much his gesture meant.

Without realizing how it came about, Scully found herself lying back on the bed,

Mulder’s suddenly naked body covering hers. She ran her hands over his back

relishing the strength of the muscles under the soft skin. She wanted…she needed

him. Her hand slipped down his side and closed over his hardness and an untamed

growl arose from his throat as her fingers moved in an age-old rhythm.

Desire claimed them and took on a life of it’s own, their bodies moved together in a

dance of passion until finally it swept them away into a shared explosion of

fulfillment.

“You took my breath away thirteen years ago.” Mulder told her, brushing her hair

back from her face.

Reaching out Scully traced his face with her fingers. “My love, my life.”

“I love you.” Mulder whispered. “I always will.”

The night closed around them, two individuals who became partners then friends and

finally lovers.

The End.

Home Alone

Title: Home alone

Author: Lisa (Truthwebothknow)

Rating: PG13

Category: MT MSR ANGST

Written for the Virtual Season 13’s Valentine’s Day Special

Disclaimer: no copyright infringement intended.

comments: dragonrider1@ntlworld.com

clip_image001

Mulder and Scully Duplex

12th Feb 2006

It could have been a particularly pleasant dream but he was vaguely aware of her

featherlike lips whispering in his ear, touching against his face as he rolled over. A

whimpering noise escaped his throat and his chest heaved against the heavy duvet.

Then a small hand slid around his waist bringing warmth and unutterable peace as it

settled over his heart.

The next time he was aware of anything he got the notion he was alone and the side

of the bed that was hers was empty, the sheets now cool. Lying on his side, his

fingers slid over the cotton seeking the warmth his skin craved but she was definitely

gone.

Opening his eyes was difficult, his eyelids heavy with an overall grogginess he

couldn’t shake. At last he pried open one eye and looked across, confirming what he

already knew.

No Scully. What time was it? Where was she? No sounds of life coming from the rest

of their shared home.

His heart gave a small stutter in his chest but still he had no real desire to move.

Why was he even still in bed? He licked dry lips and wondered why his mouth felt

like cooch grass tufts had taken root in it. He rolled awkwardly onto his back, feeling

heavy and lethargic, slowly coming to.

This wasn’t just the last vestige of sleep. There was a deep ache he couldn’t identify

and his head was full of cottony confusion.

He shut his eyes tight when the sun suddenly came through the window in

unrelenting streaks that hurt his eyes, even behind his eyelids.

Sharp twinges of discomfort blew the last remnants of the dream away.

He’d been running, he heard laughter as his feet took off down the street. The

laughter getting louder. Something chasing him, the laughter now thundering inside

his head, menacing….pursuing him until…until… nothing. He was grabbing at air,

falling, falling….

….And he opened his eyes with a start and he was back in his bed. He lay on his

back, panting, spread-eagled across damp twisted sheets. His arm slack against the

sheets on her side of the bed, his questing fingers now closing over something cold

and papery. It tickled his palm.

He pulled its crushed texture open with his other hand and squinted at it. It was a

short note in her familiar script. It made him smile despite his rude awakening.

“I love you. Don’t forget to take your meds. Got called in to do an Autopsy on the

Briggs case. Back as soon as I can.”

Scully xxx

P.S. REST!!!! You are just out the hospital. That means do not go jogging, do not

clamber over the furniture. Definitely don’t ditch me for one of The LGM’s wild goose

chase stories, no matter how compelling, no matter how much it tickles your weird

shitometer; in fact please don’t leave your bed. Demerol and Mulder inertia spells big

trouble. Naked and doped up on happy drops is how I want to find you when I get

home. Or I will break your other leg.

Love Scully.

Ooh so not a dream then, a memory. He’d been hurt on a case. He cringed as the

pain in his leg washed away any doubt that it was a nasty figment of his imagination.

The whole sorry episode came flooding back and his right leg began to throb

sadistically with every moment of recollection.

Several days previously.

They were both on a stakeout at the corner of Johnson and Maine. So far it looked

quiet and Mulder was gamely throwing seeds into his mouth, cracking the shells and

lobbing them in the back seat, much to Scully’s annoyance. But he was a man on a

mission. Too deep in contemplation and thought to notice her rising ire, using his

Oxford educated brilliant profiler mind to deduce the ultimate Valentine’s gift for the

love of his life, who was currently scowling at him. He flashed her what he thought

was a winning smile. She rolled her eyes.

Only last week she’d complained that one of his stray seed husks had laddered her

stockings and since they were car-pooling now to save time and money, perhaps he

could see his way to cutting down on extraneous crap found at any given time

littering his car. The back seats alone had begun to resemble a mobile Starbucks

with all the cartons strewn about. A smirk crossed his lips as he remembered his

suggestion that she dispense with her stockings once they got to the office.

It had earned him a swat around the head.

He was just flicking through a mental rolodex of expensive restaurants in the

downtown DC area, hoping that a bribe of some Yankee’s tickets he’d acquired from

his friend in ballistics would get him reservations. He’d left this rather late as usual,

when Skinner’s tinny voiced blared through the walkie-talkie.

“It’s going down. Coverage needed at the front and back of the Chinese

supermarket. Choi is on the move after all.”

“On our way sir.”

Without further ado they exited the car, Scully covering his back as they took off in

pursuit of the infamous Triad member who had kidnapped a politician’s daughter

after a drug bust went wrong. She had been in the wrong place at the wrong time at

a DC hotel when she’d been taken hostage. Time was running out in finding her.

They hoped she would be here and an all out mission to rescue her was launched.

Cops and a special Swat unit flanked out from the shop on all sides. It was in a 3-

story building. The part over the store mostly derelict, a haven for drug users and

thugs. Scully donned a bulletproof vest, as did Mulder and they entered the front of

the building with several Swat guys at the rear, guns in readiness for trouble. A

noise from a stairwell diverted Mulder and just out of the corner of his eyes, a guy

shot out from his hidey-hole.

Taking off after him, he chased him around to another level of the building but he

seemed to have vanished. Mulder twisted and turned but the guy was nowhere in

sight and for some reason he’d yet to fathom, he’d become separated from Scully.

He waited a few moments until the guy suddenly broke cover and dived for the stairs

to the roof. Mulder, gun drawn, headed after him. Below. Unbeknownst to Mulder,

Skinner, Scully and the Swat team were running after another perp on the ground

floor that had split their attention. They seemed to want Mulder on his own but by

the time they had realised that, the agent was elsewhere. In a small room at the

back of the store they came across the trussed up terrified kid that Choi had

grabbed. They promptly arrested two other guys guarding her and only after they

had marched them off to the waiting sting wagon, they realised that Mulder was in

pursuit of the main man on his own. They could hear them pounding through the

empty floors above.

Mulder followed his man to the small stairwell that led up to the roof. The guy just

vanished through the door at the top. He didn’t see it too well, there was a blast of

sunlight from holes in the roof and it glinted off his gun barrel, half blinding him

suddenly. Slowly Mulder made his way up the stairs, flattening himself against the

wall. He peered around the open door jamb and stepped through after checking it

was clear.

“FBI. Freeze or I will shoot,” he yelled just as a dark head clamoured over the roof.

He edged closer thinking the man had jumped to his death to evade capture only to

find a fire escape zigzagging down the 3 floors. But as he peered over the edge he

saw someone running down. The dark head looked up as he took the stairs two at a

time. It was the face of a teen boy, not Choi. He waved, gave the internationally

recognised gesture for ‘screw you’ and continued on down.

“Shit!”

Mulder had barely time to swing around before something huge hit him in the chest,

the weight of it sending him careening back and off the roof. He frantically grabbed

at the dead air all around him like a madman, trying to grab something to stop his

deadly plunge, legs swinging wildly as the ground came up to meet him with a bone

shattering crunch, Choi’s mad laugher crashing through his ears.

Scully dove around the corner with Skinner at her heels just in time to see Mulder

fishtail off the roof. Seconds later a Swat sharpshooter downed Choi as he tried to

rush back into the building. He only made it two steps, his laughter dying with him.

“Oh my god Mulder!!”

By the time they reached Mulder, he hadn’t exactly hit the ground. A large florist’s

van had broken his fall. Mulder was spread-eagled in a man-sized dent, quickly

sliding off the bloody wind shield in a huge puddle of glass….and rice. His right leg

mangled in a sickening zigzag that resembled the fire escape. The fact that he was

muttering delirious obscenities Scully took as a good sign that he was alive.

“Say it with flowers this Valentines” logo soon became clear as Mulder cleared the

hood. Skinner fought down the urge to cringe at the irony. One look at Scully

confirmed she must have been gritting her teeth at the same thing.

“Mulder!!” She went directly into doctor mode, carefully trying to catalogue injuries

and vital signs. “Mulder lie still honey. Help is coming. I’m here.”

“Love you…sorry…I fucked up…another valentine,” he muttered through bloodied

lips before passing out. An ambulance siren was the last thing he heard.

Georgetown Memorial.

8pm.

An eternity of painful and invasive poking in the trauma unit and several hours of

surgery later, he awoke to find an ashen Scully by his side, a shocked Skinner and a

herd of nosey reporters outside his hospital room at GUMC.

“Honey I’m home!” He declared somewhat drunkenly as the Demerol kicked in and

Scully hung onto his bruised hand like a limpet, looking at him like he might

disappear at any second. Apparently, while he was napping in surgery he’d achieved

Hero status after the successful bust and recovery of the girl, shaken but unharmed,

and just about every news channel was baying like a pack of hungry bloodhounds for

the scoop on Agent Mulder and his amazing swan dive off the 3-story building.

Some hero, he thought. Ko’ed by. a 50 kilo sack of fragrant jasmine rice. Jeez he’d

kept finding the stuff in his bed and his…well he wasn’t going there.

A Doctor Forester breezed in, muttering about the press loitering outside and held up

his X-rays, outlining the plates and screws that were required to fix Mulder’s

shattered tib and fib. Mulder actually giggled and cracked some quip about Humpty

Dumpty. Scully and Skinner flashed each other a look, while Scully smiled at Mulder

indulgently and mouthed “Demerol.”

It transpired that the Kevlar vest had gone a long way to save his chest from serious

injury; he had other cuts and bruises from the glass and impact but his leg was

another story. He’d be off at least 3 months while the veritable Erector set inside did

its magic and perhaps if he were lucky, desk duty after that. The florist truck was a

write off. It had ceased to be. Hauled off to the great scrap yard in the sky. Scully

had filled him in on how Frohike had wanted to preserve the hood as a piece of

modern art while Langly had wanted to sell it on Ebay. Byers, apparently the only

one of the trio not to use recreational drugs that day, declined to comment beyond

the failure to locate the owner if the ill-fated van.

“When do I get out of here Scully?” Mulder asked after 3 hours of Oprah and a

George Duyba Special on the Biography channel had almost moved him to request a

bed on the psyche ward.

He didn’t dare turn on CNN or any of the local news channels. He was flavour of the

month, the doctor had gleefully told him.

Present day.

Another painful twinge from below the sheets jolted him back to the present. Scully

had been so upset about the whole thing that she had arranged to spring him after

two days, the orthopaedic consultant agreeing that as she was a medical doctor, she

could care for him at home as long as he stayed in bed and took home a whole

truckload of Demerol.

He sighed. On the whole Scully had taken it all rather stoically, considering he

expected her to go coastal after this latest incident threatened to put a damper on

their Valentine’s celebration yet again. In the past few years he’d always managed to

get banged up around the time of the festival of love and he imagined she was

getting more a little pissed off.

He didn’t enjoy pain; he really didn’t so it wasn’t too much fun for him either. Well at

least he was home in their bed but the object of his undying affections was not here

and he was oooh so bored…and hungry. Didn’t he have to eat with these gigantic

elephant pills he was supposed to take?

He looked around the room. Umm yum, he thought as he spied the whole-wheat

toast under cling wrap and hazelnut low fat yoghurt Scully had thoughtfully left on

the bedside cabinet in the wee small hours, when her sudden work related exodus

had taken her from their warm bed.

But he was hungry and his leg was now starting to scream painfully right up into the

fillings of his teeth. He dutifully swallowed the vile pills set out by the plate,

congratulating himself that he’d managed to do this small thing without whining…not

that there was anyone to whine to.

Something else started vying for his attention. He needed to drain the lizard, not

quite urgent yet but the cold juice he’d had with his breakfast had gone straight to

his kidney’s.

He let his eyes wander around the bedroom, but no sign of one of those cute plastic

pee bottles like they had in the hospital. Seems his Scully had been remiss in that

department.

He was faced with an immediate dilemma: the main one being that their lovely

upstairs bathroom had a slight plumbing problem and the only other place to relieve

his business was in the one downstairs. A pair of shiny new crutches rested against

the wall next to the bed but then came the other problem; he wasn’t supposed to get

out of bed. His post op care was very specific and still groggy from the surgery, plus

the fresh meds might make for quite a desperate situation should he start tottering

around the house alone.

He thought about calling Scully, telling her he loved her dearly but he had a slight

problem, and would she mind at all if he didn’t keep to his promise about staying in

bed as the resulting mess might be unfortunate for both of them. Better still, could

she come home so they could snuggle?

In the end he thought better of it as he suddenly got vision of Scully in scrubs, elbow

deep in some stiff’s pancreas and other token icky spaghetti bits. Not exactly a turn

on, but the thought of her in scrubs made him grin like a fool.

He was also bereft at the thought that he had yet to organize something suitably

romantic for Valentine’s Day. Well, as romantic as they could manage with ten

pounds of plaster and bandage on his leg. He had to talk to the gunmen and fast,

now would that wait until after he had taken care of more pressing matters?

Seizing his cell phone he began to dial before he realised it was dead. Great, not only

did he leap off buildings and maim himself but also he’d forgotten, or rather Scully

had forgotten to charge up his phone. He bit back a curse. So that was that then, it

couldn’t be avoided. He would just have to wing getting his ass downstairs to use the

bathroom, but he could also kill two birds with one stone and call the Gunmen at the

same time. He grinned at the sudden realization that it was Celebrity Skin delivery

day and he’d be interrupting their collective pervefest.

Oh well it couldn’t be helped. Onwards and upwards. He threw back the sheets, quite

startled that the plate and phone went skittering across the bedroom and smashed

against the wall.

Undeterred, and his need becoming a tad urgent he swung the good leg out of bed,

shifting the heavily cased one much more gingerly until he had one bare foot flat on

the carpet and the injured leg stuck out in front of him like a boat oar. Umm better

not think of the sea, boats etc…

He grabbed his crutches and finagled them into place, but when he pushed upright,

the room spun before his eyes like a merry go-round and it was all he could do to

stay on his one good foot and not yak up his breakfast. His leg ached like a

mother….

“Okay I can do this,” he muttered, wedging the crutches firmly under his arms and

began the slow arduous trek across the room to the door and beyond. As he

reached the edge of the landing, not only was he exhausted but he had a sudden

unpleasant sense of déjà vu. His head fell forward onto his chest and he shut his

eyes tight as a wave of vertigo rolled over him. This time and for reason’s he couldn’t

fathom, Oprah Winfrey was chasing him across the roof and when he final toppled

over the edge he was wearing a superman cape….what the fu….?

He stood at the lip of the stairs swaying and was feeling quite disorientated when the

downstairs phone ringing tore a path through the cotton in his head. His good foot

shifted inadvertently onto the first step but his toes could not dig into the carpet

enough to stop his forward momentum. A final sway and his crutches slipped from

his grasp with a clatter and he pitched forward, too shocked and slacked jawed to cry

out. The hall flooring came up to collide with his nose at an alarming speed just as

the answering machine kicked in.

“I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky….”

He could just make out the hideous song by R. Kelly even more crucified by the

tuneless squawking of the Lone Gunmen, followed by colorful metaphors and

giggling. “Hey ho Buck Rodgers ……. Are you there? Hellooo….?”

“Revenge… is a dish best served cold. Gonna bust some heads but good”, Mulder

slurred into the blood slick parqueted hallway tiles, vaguely hoping Scully had

something to clean unsavoury bodily fluids from their wood flooring, as he lost

consciousness.

The only casualty of his 2nd swan dive of the week seemed to be his nose. For that

he was eternally grateful. “Ow,” he yelped as the violent streaks of pain started

bouncing off the inside of his skull and he lifted his arm to cup his throbbing

proboscis. Bad move, that only made him dizzy and he finally did throw up. Slap

bang in Scully’s Mexican Yucca plant pot that was conveniently by his head. ‘Pottery

Barn’ had to be useful for something, he mused, wiping his mouth on his arm as he

tried to get some idea of his surroundings.

Fortunately his cast seemed intact but his leg screamed at him to medicate with

more Demerol. The other fortunate thing was that he hadn’t disgraced himself on the

floor, but rather the dampness he’d woken up in was blood not Mulderpee. However

when he tried to shift, the worse pain of all was from his bladder, which by now was

demanding an urgent exodus of its contents.

He tried to shuffle on his ass but a sudden explosion of pain created an equal

explosion of obscenities. Then he heard a key in the lock at the front door he was

currently sprawled in front of. He looked up in all his patheticness at the worried

features of Margaret Scully.

“Hi.”

She was laden down with a casserole dish tucked under one arm, the smell from

which made him feel faintly nauseous, and a big bag of goodies slung over her

shoulder that indicated she’d come to camp out for the duration.

“My goodness, Fox, Thank god. I was so worried when I tried to call you and no one

answered your cell phone. Dana asked me to look in on you while she was at work,

dear…um. ” Then she noticed the way he was squished, limbs akimbo between the

wall and against the staircase, his fallen crutches and finally his sore swollen nose

and the bloody trail on the floor. His eyes were two miserable pools of hazel that if

she looked at too hard she might fall into. Just like a beaten spaniel. She placed a

hand on her chest and gasped. “Oh my God. Fox, what happened? Are you all right?”

“Dropped my crutches. Fell.” Could he sound any more pathetic?

She discarded her baggage on the stairs and immediately breezed into a mode that

was all Scully business. She felt his forehead, checked out his swollen nose and

glanced worriedly at his sorry looking legs. “Oh Fox, just look at you.”

“I….I seem to have an …<cough> embarrassing problem Maggie.” He admitted

between gritted teeth, partly from the pain and quite a lot from the fact that he had

just realized that he was nearly naked, wearing nothing but a stoned expression and

a pair of silky white boxers with little love hearts all over them. And teddies.

“What’s that dear?” She was picking up his crutches as she peered down at him.

Scully had given him an early Valentine’s gift, which was just as well really

considering his folly on the last case and the resultant battered leg. The boxers were

the most comfortable thing…hell the only thing he could get on easily over his

fucking massive cast. He really loved them and Scully had given him a saucy wink at

the hospital while he was readying himself for the trip home, and he adored them all

the more, the silky feel against his…..the way her eyes lit up as she stared

south…ahem.

They were meant only to be seen in the privacy of their bedroom; unfortunately this

was the wrong Scully who was now gazing at them. If the ground could have

opened up and swallowed him….

He looked beyond Maggie and flicked his eyes desperately in the direction of the

downstairs toilet, hoping that his partner’s mother was as good at unspoken

communication as her daughter.

“Oh I see, let me give you a hand up dear.”

Yes, there was a god, and he didn’t have to explain his predicament, it was obviously

written all over his face. Just as well, as he noted that it was damn tricky trying to

cross his legs with one of them entombed with plaster. He grabbed the crutches

Maggie was holding out to him and she slipped an arm around his back and left arm

as he tried for upright. He knew Scully would have a conniption when she found out

that he’d moved after bashing his noggin on the floor, but she wasn’t here and

anyone could see that this was of the utmost urgency.

“Thanks Maggie.”

It hurt, god did it hurt and he was scared for one awful second he might burst and

drown the hallway in spectacular fashion. But after a lot of grunting, groaning and

drawing blood on his bottom lip he made it to the welcome coolness of the seat.

“Will you be okay Fox…I mean err with…do you think you need a hand?”

Oh god no!

“Um…. No!.. Thanks. Think I can take it from here.” He grunted as he fumbled with

the slippery silk.

Maggie smiled that knowing indulgent smile only a mother of boys can have, and

thankfully closed the door and he was at last able to let rip. He threw his head back

in blissful relief and sighed.

As dizzy as he was, he managed to make it out into the hall again where Maggie was

hovering with motherly concern and a blanket. “Let’s get you somewhere much

more comfortable, dear.”

Suddenly the front door swung open and clattered violently against the wall as a

flushed Walter Skinner entered, gun drawn, about the same time as a blast of cold

air shot up Mulder’s scantily clad ass and almost toppled him and Mrs Scully.

The AD’s eyebrows shifted quizzically as he surveyed the bizarre scene. Jeez, Mulder

thought, why was everyone’s attention drawn to his underwear for chrissakes?

“Everything all right here Mrs Scully, Mulder?”

Mulder’s mouth open and closed stupidly like a fish but nothing came out.

“He took a tumble Mr Skinner. I think he’s okay but his poor nose and head will need

checking out.”

“Yeah.” Mulder feebly muttered, feeling another dizzy spell coming on.

“Why didn’t you answer your cell Mulder? ”

“Umm, er… it’s not charged.”

“Oh….ahh okay. Sit down Mulder; you look like you may fall down. ”

“Oh Mulder!” His flame haired partner’s face looked white as she barrelled through

the door so quickly she had to pull up short or fall over her boss.

“Scully.. That you?” Suddenly she was all over him on the floor. Hands everywhere

checking for injury.

Mulder sucked in his breath. Please Scully, not …there…not in public.

“I’m here Mulder, what happened? ”

“Fell…..needed the errrr the…” he pointed a shaking finger at that bathroom.

“You weren’t supposed to get out of bed. Why didn’t you use the one upstairs? Or

better still the urinal bottle I left specifically for you? ”

“What urinal?” Mulder mumbled through the hand that was still holding his bloody

nose, wishing they were having this conversation without such an attentive

audience.

“The one on the floor by the bedside table.”

Mulder gave her a withering look and watched as realization dawned on her. .

“Oh….er…must have kicked it under the bed. It was dark when I left this morning.

Sorry Mulder. ”

Skinner stifled the urge to laugh behind a cough while Maggie Scully suddenly found

her gold crucifix fascinating.

Scully’s guilt trip was cut short by footsteps at the door and a loud altercation on the

path involving a couple of reporters and photographers as they tried to get close

enough for a picture.

“Crap..” Skinner growled. “Don’t worry I’ll get rid of them.”

Skinner took off in their direction, waving his ID and barking orders.

My Hero, thought Mulder dizzily as he was bundled into the living room by Scully and

her mother, both death-gripping an arm each.

Two minutes later he was happily horizontal on the sofa, fresh jab of meds in the ass

cheek, ice bag perched on his head and his hair being lovingly stroked by his

beautiful partner as she phoned for the paramedics. AGAIN.

Three fresh but oddly familiar faces popped around the doorway like a gaggle of

erudite meerkats. Frohike looked kinda pissed.

“Greetings. Mulder you bum, we were trying to call you for hours. Why didn’t you

answer your damn phone?”

“Yes ..that’s right…an agent down….What the… Oh Hi.” Scully chimed in around the

ass chewing she was giving the person on the other end of the phone.

Mulder closed his eyes at the latest intrusion but further buoyed by his fresh infusion

of pain meds, threw back.

“Geez, if it isn’t the three American Idol hopefuls. Sneezy, Dopey and Farty. Know

what guys, next time you find yourselves Sunnyside up on the sidewalk, I’m gonna

call up and serenade you. Spooky Mulder sings the Macarena, how does that grab

ya? Don’t even think about giving up the day job. The four weekly tabloid

showcasing the fantastic, the creepy and the downright scandalous reportage of how

the shadow government is betraying and keeping secrets, the hidden agendas foxing

the very echelons of the American people, right down the wire.”

Frohike had the good grace to look sheepish.

Langly giggled, “Did he just say ‘Foxing’?”

Scully and her mom both mouthed, “Demerol,” in unison before everyone’s attention

was suddenly diverted by the sight of Skinner’s bald head going past the back

window in hot pursuit of something… or someone.

“What the…”

“Hey he caught a live one.” Frohike suddenly guffawed as he watched the burley AD

seize and frogmarch a reporter around the side of the house and out of view.

“I’ll make some coffee for everyone shall I?” Maggie enthused.

“Juice for Mulder, Mom. He can’t have caffeine, ” Scully cut in before Mulder had a

chance to protest. He rolled his eyes and sucked in a deep breath, then hiccupped.

“Besides, he may need more surgery. ”

Great just great!!!! My day is complete, he thought. Kill me now.

There was a commotion outside the house, just then.

“Anymore of those creeps skulking around the back yard? ” As if on cue, the

paramedics took that moment to show up and looked slightly put out at Mulder’s

comments.

They barrelled in with a gurney and a familiar bag of torture devices that even in his

doped up state made Mulder cringe.

Everyone seemed to loiter like spare pork pies at a bar mitzvah as the medics lifted

Mulder up and attempted to get him on the gurney. He was wobblier than a newborn

colt.

With Scully’s help and the LGMs encouragement, their efforts punctuated with open

sniggering once they saw what he was sporting under the blanket, they eventually

got the hapless Mulder loaded into the ambulance. But to add insult to injury, his

blanket slipped away just as a reporter popped up and snapped picture of him in all

his silken finery.

“Shit..!

“What the f….”

Scully immediately sprung into action and wrestled the guy to the ground, trying to

prize the camera away and the possibility of his boxer clad ass making the tabloids

later that day. She got in two good sucker punches before she held her prize aloft

with glee.

“Hahahhhh!! Got it,”

“I’ll deal with this’ Skinner groused as he hauled the dazed guy off to his FBI issue

Taurus. “Not had my workout today and it makes me real cranky. Thanks for the

decaf Mrs Scully.”

“My pleasure Mr Skinner.” Maggie gave him a little wave as she turned back to the

ambulance and patted Mulder’s hand.

“She always used to fight like that with her brothers.” Mulder nodded and grinned

goofily at the image, his vision of Maggie swaying a bit, wondering why he could now

see two of her. “Never stood a chance.”

“Where’s Sculleeee?”

Soon a flustered but triumphant Scully was back at Mulder’s side in loving

attentiveness. But for Mulder, the day’s events had been all too much and he finally

let the good drugs render him soundly and blissfully unconscious.

GUMC

Washington DC

5pm 13th February.

“Look Scully, Trifids.” Mulder slurred through a drugged haze, snuggled up against

his partner as she curled up next to him on the bed. She was carding her fingers

through his hair and it felt like Nirvana. There were bright floral displays everywhere,

of more multi colored type of flowers than he could ever name. Heart shaped helium

balloons drifted in the room’s air conditioning. Martha Stewart would have had

multiple orgasms.

“Orchids Mulder, beautiful Orchids and Lilies.”

“Zats nice. D’you buy em for me?” he gazed around the room which was teeming

with all kinds of flowers. “Looks like a funeral home. Did I die? ”

Scully giggled and kissed him on the lips, mindful of his sore nose which was now

sporting two plugs of cotton wool, one up each nostril. “No um…no they were a gift

from a Mr. Marucci.”

“Huh?”

“I’ll let him introduce himself.” She crawled off the bed and went to the door,

opening it. “You up to a visitor Mulder?”

“Shit not Consortium?”

“Hell no.” She said rolling her eyes. “It’s okay, Mr Marucci, you can come in now.”

A small rotund man, Mediterranean looking, with a huge winning smile that lit up his

brown eyes and a thick moustache under his nose cautiously entered the room. He

took off his hat and held it to his ample belly as he smiled at the agents.

“Have we met before?” Mulder’s mind suddenly trawled through all the perps from

VSU still at large that might be out to get him. The way his luck had gone these last

few days, the guy probably had a violin case concealed somewhere.

“In a way..” he started…..looking to Scully for help as Mulder stared at him with

profiler eyes.

“Mulder…behave…. it’s okay. ” his partner scolded sitting back by his side and

taking his hand. “This is Mr. Marucci, Mr. Valentino Marucci ……of Marucci’s Secret

Garden florist’s.”

Mulder’s mouth opened and closed as realisation dawned “…UHOH” He gave a

Scully a sheepish look and then looked at their visitor as he also nodded, grinning.

“I creamed your van!! Jeez ….I’m sorry ..er…I um never saw it till I hit it …but

umm. sorry.”

“Is okay Mr Mulder. You did Valentino great favor. The van was not great, no? Much

problems with engine. Si.”

“You mean you don’t want to sue my ass?”

Scully laughed shaking her head.

“I think what Mr Marucci is saying is that because his van broke your fall and it was

written off, not only did it save your life, but it enabled him to get enough on the

insurance payout for a brand new van. ”

“Son of a bitch!”

“Yes, Mr Mulder, van was big beech.”

“Oh my God…. Scully….jeez I would have been killed but for that van. I should be

thanking you Mr Marucci.” Scully squeezed his hand, suddenly tearful with emotion

and she nodded.

“Si.. Is good all round, no? Ahhh…bueno…You have a great love, no?” She nodded

fervently as Mulder hugged her closer.

“Mulder…” Mulder stared at her as two tears slipped down her face suddenly. He

caught one with a finger as she continued, not taking his eyes off her. “Mulder,

Valentino here, he wants to give us a gift for helping with …his problem…to thanks

us. A year’s supply of fresh flowers. Isn’t that wonderful?”

“Oh my god…really? Scully that’s great.”

“You like?”

“Thank you so much. It’s an extremely kind gesture…We like, Mr Marucci, ” Mulder

said, and gestured to shake the man’s hand, Scully now crying in earnest. He gave

his partner a long lingering kiss. ” We like!”

Scully and Mulder Duplex

February 14th 9pm

Mulder had been allowed home after another battery of tests and prodding, much to

his chagrin. Eventually they had patched him up and declared him fit to go home and

enjoy St. Valentine’s day with his adoring partner, who on reaching home showed

she was not about to let a lover with his leg in plaster get in the way of their

festivities.

Sex was a little tricky but with a lot of giggling, fumbling and some thoughtful ledger

domain, they had consummated their love over several bliss filled hours.

Until there was a knock at the door.

Scully groaned, while Mulder let a smile curl across his lips. One eye open. “Who the

hell could that be… If that’s Mom come back for her casserole dish….?”

Scully was draped over Mulder’s bare chest at the time, snuggled in like a baby cat

as he dozed lightly from all the aerobics of the day.

“Not your Mom, Scully,” Mulder purred sleepily into the nape of her neck as he

nibbled the skin there.

“Then who…..” She lifted her head from his chest, halting the path of his kisses,

staring into his eyes as they twinkled with amusement and mischief.

From below stairs came some muffled swearing and then the sound of a key turning

in the lock.

“Hellooo…..Lone Gunmen’s Romantic Cuisine service…..Anyone home?”

“Are you naked?” Came Langley’s unmistakable snorting.

“Shurrup you ass.” Followed by the sound of a hand making contact with something

hard and organic.

“Ow!”

“Er hello….,” came the third, more unassuming voice, followed by a waft of truly

delicious smells drifting up the stairs to the bedroom.

Scully stared open mouthed at her partner who was now doubled up with laughter,

trying to hold his sore nose and keep Scully on the bed at the same time.

“Oh Mulder you didn’t?”

“I did…they um…. insisted. Happy Valentine’s Scully. Love you.”

“Oh Mulder…..”

Suddenly the smells started making her hungry. It did smell delicious.

“I know how hungry you get after playing hide the salami Scully…” he whispered as

he lapped delicately at the shell of her left ear. “And Fro has a little known talent

despite his resemblance to a garden ornament in short pants, in as much that he

holds a degree in advanced cuisine sciences from one of the top colleges in the

country.”

“Uhuh.”

“Uhuh and then some Scully.”

“Smells good.”

“Umm so do you…C’mon….I’m starved and it’s going to take a while to get

downstairs.”

The meal was delicious as Mulder had promised and the LGM had done themselves

proud. Frohike was a master chef after all, and Langly and Byers had been excellent

hosts, serving and making sure the two love struck agents had the best romantic

evening ever.

Mulder had felt kind of sad, despite his partner’s delight over the gift of such

beautiful flowers from Mr. Marucci. Although romantic, they were not really from him

and he felt the need, after all he’d put Scully through, for all her unconditional

acceptance him and loving him as she did, that he decided to arrange something

special himself with help of his friends. A night to remember from his heart.

“That was a beautiful meal, Mulder….guys. Thank you. Thank you so much.”

“It was Mulder that made all the arrangements, dear lady…I just … Only but the

best for you two love birds. You take care. We’ll be off now…give you some privacy.

Langly grinned goofily but it faded a little when Byers’ foot found its way to his shin.

They said their goodbyes, Fro kissing Scully’s hand as he doffed his cap, and they all

filed out of the door.

They were finally alone.

“I love you Agent Scully. ”

“I love you Agent Mulder.” They held each other for what seemed like an age as the

candles burned and they danced to imaginary music of their hearts, despite Mulder

having to balance with one crutch.

The flowers around them seemed to blossom more as they swayed, but they were

oblivious to everything but their love for each other. Scully touched the silver filigree

butterfly pendant that Mulder had given her earlier. Their lips met and the world

faded away….

XXXXXXXX

In a wooded glade in a distant place, a solitary figure admired his beautiful multi

hued garden while he flexed his white feathered wings……. He caught a silvery

butterfly on his finger as it fluttered past. Whispered Italian words drifted on the

fragrant air….

Our work is done for another year. Keep them safe.

Keep them in love, for they have the greatest of loves that I have ever seen.

The end.

Home Alone dedication.

Dedicated to inspired lovers everywhere. And especially to

Kat and Ady for being MR’s first officail Love birds. 3 Years and counting!!!

To Debbie, because love never dies and that special someone you miss

will always be waiting in that garden for you.

To LInda, my partner in MT(One of many ) and specail thanks for the name idea!!:)

And Isabel, for your friendship and courage.

David and Tea For the contunued joy you bring through your work

and the way you love each other. That’s an inspiration in itsself.

To M&S who without I would not have written this story. Most romantic

couple in fanfic CC was never responsible for

And most of all, to my own Valentine, Keith — it’s a date at Beltane.

Love Bites

Title : Love Bites

Author : Sally Bahnsen — rbahnsen@optusnet.com.au

Summary: Sometimes love just bites.

Rating – you should probably be able to cope with the occasional bad word and

implied sexual situations.

Written for Virtual Season 13’s Valentine Days Special

Disclaimer — Mulder and Scully belong to CC and 1013 productions. The dog belongs

in the pound.

Category: MT, MSR

Author’s notes at end.

clip_image001

Love Bites

By Sally Bahnsen

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

Georgetown

February 14

3.10 pm

Sometimes his life with Scully just felt perfect, so perfect that Mulder, even after all

this time, still worried that sooner or later his bubble would burst and Scully would

come to her senses. How did a guy like him end up with a woman like her? It was

something that never ceased to amaze him at least 100 times a day, and tonight he

had every intention of proving to Scully that she had made the right choice

committing to their relationship.

Mulder wouldn’t exactly call himself a romantic, but, heck today was Valentine’s Day

and why the hell shouldn’t he celebrate his extraordinarily good luck at finally

beating the odds and setting up house with the one person who meant more to him

than life itself? He’d decided weeks ago that he was going to make tonight special.

Nothing was going to come between him and the romantic evening they had

planned.

He had offered to accompany Scully to the grocery store while she bought supplies

for dinner but she had insisted she had everything under control.

So, who was he to argue?

As soon as the front door clicked shut behind her, Mulder pulled on his sweat pants

and sneakers and left the house for a nice relaxing run. He figured he’d be back long

before Scully would, and still have time to shower and change.

Checking his watch, he was damn pleased with himself; he’d made excellent time

and was now on the homeward stretch. He’d be back with plenty of time to spare. In

fact, if he made a shortcut through the park he’d be even quicker.

No Sireee, nothing was going to come between him and their much deserved

romantic dinner at home.

That was . . . until . . . .

“Oh crap.”

No, not now. Not today. He didn’t need this.

The dog stood between him and the end of the path, teeth bared and long pink jowls

dripping saliva as it growled — aggressively defending its territory. Mulder hadn’t

seen the animal until he was practically on top of it, his mind lost to the rhythmic

thud of his feet hitting pavement and the controlled breathing in his chest.

Scully was going to kill him if he messed up tonight.

“Nice doggy, good boy.” He crooned at the big, black, hairy monster. “No one’s going

to hurt you.”

The dog growled louder and Mulder had second thoughts about moving towards it.

Slowly, never taking his eyes off the dog, Mulder started to backtrack.

Maybe reconsidering his route through the park was the best option here instead of

trying to save 10 minutes via the shortcut. After all, death by Scully had to be better

than death by Pit Bull.

Steadily placing one foot behind the other, and still talking to the dog in a soft, even

tone, he didn’t notice the glass bottle behind his left foot until the heel of his sneaker

kicked against it and sent it spinning in an erratic circle along the path. “Double

crap,” he mumbled to himself.

The, dog, already feeling threatened, barked ferociously and then lunged at Mulder.

Sensing attack might have been on the dog’s mind, Mulder was already airborne,

diving to his right when the dog hit.

It was like being tackled by a 300 pound quarterback. Only this football player had

jaws of iron that locked around his left thigh with the finality of a bear trap.

Momentum and shock sent Mulder sprawling to the ground, the dog’s teeth still

firmly embedded in his left leg.

Instinct made Mulder lash out with his right leg, but all he made contact with was

empty space. It was only a split second later that his self-defense training kicked in

and he dug the fingers of both hands into the dog’s eyes. It had no effect. He could

feel the teeth sinking deeper into his thigh. He tried punching at its head, then chest,

still the dog hung on. The flesh, just above his knee started to tear, pushing an extra

burst of adrenaline into his blood stream.

Locked in a desperate struggle, Mulder flipped the dog over so it was beneath him.

The change of position allowed him get a better grip on the animal’s head and he

simultaneously brought his right knee up to make solid contact with its stomach. The

dog released its grip and Mulder scrambled backwards, reaching blindly behind him

for the glass bottle that had triggered the attack. He smashed the base of the bottle

against the ground and held it up in defense. This time when the dog came at him

he thrust the broken bottle up and in, just below the rib cage. Blood spurted from

the animal’s chest and it stopped mid-flight, hitting the ground on its side and

yelping loudly, before struggling to its feet and running from the park.

Mulder collapsed to ground. His stomach heaved but didn’t deliver. For a minute he

just lay there, numb, and shaking, trying to wrap his head around what had

happened. As the effects of the adrenaline subsided, he started to feel the pain in

his leg. He rolled over onto his side, closed his eyes and fought to get his breathing

under control. There was a loud buzzing in his head and he really, really didn’t want

to pass out. Not here in the park.

And then he heard voices.

“Hey mister, are you okay?”

He sensed a crowd gathering and hitched open an eye.

Kids. Three or four of them. Maybe between 8 and 12 years old. One of them

crouched beside him. A boy.

One of the younger ones pointed at him “Man, he’s bleeding like a stuck pig.”

The boy by his side put his hand on Mulder’s shoulder. “You want me to get you

some help?”

And spend Valentines’ Day in the ER? Shit no!

“No, no, I’m okay. I just need a minute.” He pushed up to a sitting position and

examined his leg. And then immediately wished he hadn’t.

The sweat pants were shredded just above his left knee and the dark patch of blood

around the torn material was spreading by the second.

“I could go get my mom.” The boy offered.

“Or the cops!” Said one of the younger ones.

“No, really, I’m fine. It’s just a scratch.”

*Good one, Mulder. They’re kids not complete imbeciles.*

He stretched out his arm. “Just give me a hand up.”

The boys gathered around and helped him to his feet.

Mulder swayed. The boys hung on. “You don’t look so good,” said the older one.

“Did you see where the dog went?” Mulder asked, trying to change the subject.

“Shot clear across the park. You won’t see him for dust!”

“Thanks for your help, now you boys better scoot off home in case he comes back.”

No more attention, he didn’t want to draw any more spectators.

“Nah, he won’t be back. You cut him real good. Look at the trail of blood he left

behind.” This from the blood-thirsty one.

But they were right. Mulder didn’t think the dog would be coming back any time

soon.

“Well, thanks guys. I guess I need to get home and clean up.” He looked dubiously

at his injured leg and prayed for a very long queue at the grocery store.

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

Mulder and Scully Duplex

3.45 pm

The walk home had been living hell. Each step contracted the muscle above his

knee, and each contraction felt like the teeth were still embedded in his flesh. God,

how was he going to keep this from Scully? He’d promised nothing would go wrong

this year.

Once he was back at the duplex, he had one reprieve. Scully was still out. He knew

he was living on borrowed time, but with a little luck – and he figured he’d just used

up most of his bad luck – he’d have time to clean up and administer his own first aid.

First thing he needed was a shower.

He had thought the walk home was as bad as it was likely to get. Wrong! In fact,

compared to the shower – where the hot spray seared into his open wounds – the

walk home had been a peaceful little stroll. As a consequence the shower was over

and done with in a matter of minutes.

A quick search of the bathroom cabinet produced a healthy provision of medical

supplies. Betadine, butterfly clips, gauze pads and an ACE bandage. There had to be

some advantage to living with a doctor, right?

Mulder surreptitiously cracked the bathroom door and inch or two and listened for

any sign of incoming danger. All seemed to be quiet on the Western Front so he

snicked the door shut again.

Letting out a long sigh of relief, he sat himself on the closed toilet lid and began to

attend to his leg. By the time he’d applied the antiseptic and bandaged the wound

his stomach was again hovering awfully close to the back of his throat, and the

bathroom seemed to be circling itself. Swallowing hard, he eased himself down so

he was sitting on the floor and leaned his head against the edge of bath.

*I will not pass out. I will not pass out.* Eventually his body seemed convinced and

the nausea subsided about the same time the bathroom stopped spinning.

He stood up slowly. And swore mightily. His leg had stiffened up and now throbbed

in time to his pulse. This was not good. Not good at all.

Pain killers. Something strong and fast and very long lasting.

He made another sweep of the bathroom cabinet and found . . . nothing!

Shit!

How could Scully not have a supply of pain meds? Didn’t she know his propensity for

getting hurt? What kind of a doctor was she, anyway?

Okay, think, Mulder. Where would they be?

Another furtive glance from the bathroom told Mulder the coast was still clear. With

nothing more that the towel wrapped around his waist, he gathered up his bloody

clothing and headed for the bedroom.

At least if he was dressed he could cover his bandaged leg. The rest would be up to

him and sheer determination.

He thought about jeans and nearly threw up. No, he didn’t need leg hugging denim

right now and opted for a nice loose pair of corduroys. He added a long sleeved tee

and a sweat shirt. For some reason he was freezing. In fact, he couldn’t stop

shivering.

God damn.

Could it be . . . ?

Was he going into some kind of delayed shock? Limping heavily, he made a slow

dash to the bathroom and studied his reflection in the mirror. Pale, sweaty, glassy-

eyed.

Oh for fuck’s sake!

What did Scully usually do for shock?

Lie down, feet raised, snuggle under blankets, and sip sweet, hot tea.

No. That wasn’t going to happen.

He took off at a snail’s pace and made it to the kitchen. One good thing about stairs

was the fact they have a nice, strong banister to lean on. He was actually able to

keep the weight completely off his leg on the way down.

Okay, treatment for shock. The best he could come up with was a candy bar and a

bottle of iced tea. He snagged both, hobbled painfully to the living room and turned

up the heat to high.

Then he remembered his bloodied sweat pants.

Shit, the stairs again. Not so easy going up.

The pain was becoming unmanageable. He leaned heavily against the wall and

limped to the bedroom. He had to stash the sweats. But where the hell could he put

them?

Think Mulder! You’ve investigated enough crime scenes to learn from the best

criminal minds in the US.

Right.

Garbage disposal.

He made another trip to the kitchen and found a pair of scissors in the third drawer.

As fast as his trembling hands would allow, he snipped his pants into tiny pieces and

shoved them in the disposal unit. Flushing the system with water, he turned it on full

speed.

Mulder’s sweat pants disappeared into a whirring cloud of dust.

He sagged against the kitchen bench, feeling himself slide dangerously to the left.

He had to sit. He needed to get the weight off his leg. With slow, careful steps he

made it to the couch, huddled in a corner and snacked on Hershey’s and iced tea.

He’d barely finished the last bite of candy when he heard a key in the front door.

With more dexterity than he thought possible, he slid along the couch, laid flat on his

back and feigned sleep. Scully could never resist him when he slept. She hated to

wake him, and if he could just manage to pull it off until she’d unloaded the car, then

he might have a chance of avoiding detection.

“Mulder! I’m home.”

He didn’t move a muscle.

“Mul . . . ?”

He could imagine the look on her face. She was always telling him he should get

more rest. She’d be smiling to herself now and creeping quietly into the kitchen so as

not to wake him.

He thought he heard her mumble something about it being hotter than hell in there.

Then she came around and shut off the heat.

Damn it.

He must have actually fallen asleep because the next thing he knew, Scully was

tracing a finger along his cheek and there was a distinct aroma of coffee in the air.

“Mulder?” She spoke quietly. “Want some coffee?”

He stirred. Then froze. And bit back a groan. Then hastily replaced the grimace on

his face with a smile.

“Hey, Scully.” God he sounded like shit. A little bit of throat clearing helped the

problem and he carefully pulled himself up, leaving his left leg stretched along the

seat of the couch. He checked his watch. “You back already?”

“You must have really been out of it, I’ve been gone a couple of hours.” She tapped

on his left leg indicating he should move it to make room for her. When the room

came back into focus, and the sky rockets had quit launching themselves through his

head, he very gingerly lowered his leg to the ground. Scully scooted up next to him

and handed him a steamy mug of coffee.

He only spilled a few drops when he wrapped his trembling hands around it. Lucky

for him, Scully’s attention was elsewhere.

“What’s for dinner?” He asked, sipping tentatively at the warm liquid.

God, his leg hurt.

Scully leaned her head on his shoulder, “It’s a surprise, Mulder. I told you that.” She

looked up at him and smiled. “Can you believe we are finally spending Valentine’s

Day in our own place?” She snuggled closer.

Mulder grunted. But managed to lift his arm and pull her tight against him. He kissed

the top of her head, remembering last year’s promise of a romantic night in their

own home. He also remembered the subsequent bullet wound to his shoulder and

how Scully sat by his bed all night while he recovered from surgery.

He stroked her hair. “I love you, you know.”

She twisted in his embrace so she could see his face.

Mulder’s hand clenched involuntarily around her upper arm, and he barely held back

a yelp when her right elbow leaned into his left hip. His skin prickled and he could

feel sweat beading on his brow. But he fought valiantly to keep his expression

neutral.

Scully cupped his cheek, caressing gently with her thumb.” I love you, too. I love

you so much, Mulder.”

For a second the pain in his leg was forgotten. He leaned in and kissed her, a soft,

chaste meeting of their lips. Scully reached up behind his head, gently resting her

hand on the back of his neck and deepened the kiss. Mulder felt a gentle stirring in

his groin, and when Scully eventually pulled away, he was breathing heavily.

She smiled up at him. “More coffee, Mulder?”

“Caffeine wasn’t exactly what I had on my mind, Scully.”

“I’m going to start, dinner. You just stay there and relax.” She took the coffee cup

from his hand and headed down the hall to the kitchen. Mulder slumped against the

cushions and gingerly stretched out his leg. It ached, and throbbed and felt stiff and

bruised and his plan for a night of wild passionate love was slowly sinking into the

sunset. Along with another broken promise.

He needed pain killers and he need them *now*.

There had to be a way of getting his hands on some. But to search the house meant

walking. And walking equaled pain, which lead to limping which ultimately would lead

to detection and he just knew Scully would have him straight to the ER before he

could even blink.

Was there some way he could get out of the house and to a drug store without

creating suspicion?

“Scully?” He called to her in the kitchen. “Did you buy wine?”

She appeared in the archway, wiping her hands on a dish towel. The look on her face

said the answer was probably no.

“Dammit! I knew I forgot something.”

“Hey, no problem.”Mulder said, lightly. “I’ll run to the store and get some. Red or

white?”

“You don’t mind going?”

He gave her an ‘of course not’ look. “If I’m out of the house, I won’t be tempted to

come in and peek at what you’re cooking.”

She smiled at him. “Red.”

“Done deal.” He edged slowly off the couch, using every ounce of strength he had to

appear normal.

“The keys are on the sideboard.” And then, thankfully, Scully went back to the

kitchen.

Taking it slow, he headed towards the foyer. It was a full-blown, teeth-gritting

exercise just to walk at all. With the assistance of the walls, he eventually made it to

the front door, picking up the keys off the sideboard on the way.

Once he was seated in the car it took him a few minutes to clear his vision and calm

his stomach. Thank God for automatic transmission.

He drove to a small neighborhood shopping mall and parked as close as possible to

the entrance. The pharmacy was well-stocked, offering not only a large selection of

medications, but several grocery and department store lines as well. A middle-aged

man, perhaps in his 50’s manned the front counter.

Mulder knew exactly what he needed. He’d been well educated over the years as to

what pain meds worked best.

He purchased the Extra Strength Advil, a bottle of water, a box of chocolates for

Scully and struggled back to the car. There had been times when Scully had let him

pop more than the recommended one pill, times when the pain had been particularly

bad. He figured tonight qualified as extreme suffering so just to be on the safe side,

he shook 4 of the capsules into his hand and threw them back with a long slug of

water. If that didn’t get him through the night, nothing would.

He made one more stop for the wine and then drove the few blocks back to the

duplex. By the time he had pulled up in the garage, there was a soft buzz in his

head, a kind of numb tingling throughout his body and his leg was hardly bothering

him at all. At that point, he knew he’d made the right decision.

Inside, the house was warm and there was a delicious smell of home cooking. The

normalcy of it all actually made his chest ache. He tossed the car keys back on the

sideboard.

“Mulder, is that you?”

He smiled and headed towards the kitchen. “Wine m’lady?” He offered, holding the

brown paper bag in the air. His other hand hid the chocolates behind his back.

“Mulder! You’re not supposed to be peeking!”

She came towards him and wrapped her arms around his waist.” What took you so

long?”

He answered her with the box of chocolates.

“Who said chivalry was dead?” She teased.

“Are you sure I can’t help you in here?”

“Well, you could pour us both a glass of wine.”

“Consider it done.”

He was very impressed with the Advil. They’d completely taken the edge off the pain

in his leg. It was only when he took the first step after standing still that he had to

be careful.

He poured 2 glasses of wine and handed one to Scully. She held it up and he gently

chinked the side of her glass. “To us,” he said.

“To us.” Scully smiled at him over the rim of her glass.

Considering the bad start to the evening, Mulder thought things weren’t turning out

too badly. With the pain in his leg under control, the rest of the night should go as

planned. Detection at bed time was incidental to the equation. At least they would

have finally spent their first Valentine’s Day in their own home and his promise of a

drama-free evening would be honored.

Scully opened the oven to check on the progress of their meal.

“Come on Scully, what are you cooking?”

“Okay, it’s nearly done anyway. We’re having Beef Burgandy, mashed potato and

green beans. And, for dessert–”

Mulder reached his arms around her waist and pulled her against him. Leaning down,

he trailed a smooth path of feathery kisses just below her ear, before eventually

nuzzling his face in the juncture of her collarbone and neck.

He felt her shiver and push back against him.

He whispered seductively, “Let me tell you what we’re having for dessert, Scully.”

She turned in his embrace and kissed him hard on the lips. Her voice husky when

she eventually pulled away. “I think I can guess, Mulder.”

He stroked her hair, tilted her chin and touched his lips lightly to hers.

She drew a deep breath. “I think I better get back to cooking, or we’ll be having

dessert before the main meal.”

He’d drink to that!

Mulder finished his glass of wine and poured another. He topped Scully’s glass up,

even though she had barely touched it.

After the second glass of wine, he realized that his stomach was starting to burn.

And the soft buzzing in his ears of earlier seemed to be getting louder. The smell in

the kitchen, previously making his mouth water, was now making him feel nauseous.

And through the general numbness surrounding his body, he was sure the dull ache

in his leg had increased to a distinct throb again.

Maybe he should sit down.

Taking his third glass of wine with him, he carefully made his way back to the living

room. By the time he was seated on the couch, his stomach was really starting to

bother him and there was a thud in his head to match the one in his leg.

He propped his right arm on his right knee, leaned forward and cradled his aching

head in his hand. Maybe he just needed to lie down for a minute, have a little power

nap. But he couldn’t lift his left leg. The muscle had completely seized. Using both

hands he eased his leg onto the couch and slid along so his head was on the

armrest.

There was a constant ringing in his ears now and to top it off he wanted to throw up.

No, wrong choice of words, nobody actually wanted to throw up but, god, he felt as if

the only way to stop the burning in his stomach and chest was to just get rid of its

contents.

“Mulder?”

He could hear Scully calling him, but wasn’t sure he could respond.

“Mulder, are you all right?”

There was no doubting the concern in her voice.

“Mm, fine, Scully.”

But there was nothing fine about the way the words came out and he was having

trouble focusing on his surroundings.

She moved his legs so she could sit next to him. And his mind was too fuzzy to

control the gasp. “Shit!” He grabbed at his thigh.

“Mulder, what the hell is that?” She was touching his leg. And despite the heavy dose

of medication he’d taken, he slapped her hand away and nearly leapt out of the

chair.

“Oh my god, Mulder, you’re bleeding.”

Mulder craned his neck. She was right. There was a dark wet patch just above his

knee. He ran his fingertips lightly over the area, they came away damp and tinged

with red. He let out a quiet groan and slumped back against the armrest.

Scully’s hands seemed to be everywhere. Her palm touching his forehead, lifting his

eyelids and peering deeply at his pupils, two fingers rested against his neck. When

she spoke, he expected anger, but he heard panic.

“Mulder, sit up.” She had hold of his arm and was helping him to sit. “What the hell

happened to you?”

The room was graying out and he was having a hard time concentrating on her

words. And god, his stomach was on fire. He leaned over clutching his abdomen.

Scully scooted to the floor, kneeling between his legs; she tried to straighten him up.

“Mulder if you don’t answer me, I’m calling 911. Now, tell me what’s wrong?”

Pretense was no longer and option. He was dying.

“Dog bit me. Oh, god, Scully, my stomach.”

“Your stom– ” She laid him flat on his back along the couch and lifted his sweat

shirt and tee, lightly running her fingers over his rigid stomach muscles. When she

shifted her touch to his leg, he sprang up from the couch, and barely stifled a

scream.

“How the hell did this happen?” She asked as she deftly popped the button on his fly

and unzipped his pants. “Lift your hips.”

She lowered his pants to just below his knees. The sudden movement loosened his

pocket and the bottle of Advil fell to the floor.

Scully scooped them up. Looked at the blood-soaked bandage on his leg, the

grimace on his face, his pale sweaty complexion and his rigid stomach. “Jeezus.

Mulder, how many of these did you take?”

“Tonight had to be special, Scully. I didn’t want to screw up this year.”

“Bit late for that G-Man.”

“I promised you.”

He heard her sigh and then she clasped his face between her hands.”Mulder, look at

me. I need you to tell me exactly what happened.”

So, he went through the whole sorry story while Scully unwrapped the bandage on

his leg. When the wound was exposed, she gasped.

“Oh, my god!”

Mulder lifted his head to get a better look. Shit! The skin was puckered, and bruised,

and red and still oozing blood. The butterfly clips he’d applied earlier had split as his

leg swelled.

His stomach convulsed, and this time managed to follow through. He leaned over the

side of the couch and threw up on the floor. He was vaguely aware of Scully’s hand

on his shoulder for a brief second. There was a soft curse and then she disappeared.

A cool, wet wash cloth caressed his face, wiped his mouth. Scully pushed a glass

against his lips. “Rinse your mouth.” She’d even brought a bowl for him to spit in.

The mess on the floor she’d covered with towels.

“Mulder,” her tone was gentle;” I need to know how many Advil you took?”

“Scully, I’m sorry, I just didn’t want anything to interfere with our plans.”

“Dammit, Mulder, how many pills?”

“Four.”

His stomach burned and he heaved again. This time Scully caught it in the bowl.

“Oh, god, Mulder. You’re vomiting blood.”

Was he? It didn’t surprise him; it felt like his insides had ruptured.

“Okay, Mister, you’ve got 2 choices. We get in the car now and I take you to the

Emergency room, or I call 911. What’s it gonna be?”

“No, no, I’m not spending another Valentine’s Day in the hospital.”

“Yes, you are. Can you sit up?”

He tried, but every time he lifted his head the room spun, and his stomach

convulsed. He couldn’t do it.

“That settles it.” Approximately one minute later Mulder heard Scully reciting their

address to the 911 operator.

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

February 15

7.00 am

The nurse had disconnected the IV line, and heart monitor around 5.00am. Mulder

was moved from the step down unit to a private room and now — according to

medspeak — was resting comfortably. But in reality, he was not in the least bit

comfortable. Oh, they’d taken good care of him; done all the appropriate tests to

ensure there was no permanent damage to his stomach lining. They’d cleaned and

stitched the wounds to his leg, the slight throb in his buttock reminded him of the

tetanus shot he’d endured, and appropriate pain medication administered via the IV

had stopped his leg from hurting. And then there was the broad spectrum antibiotics

working on keeping infection away.

But he felt like shit, and seeing Scully dozing in the lounge chair next to his bed, her

head twisted awkwardly to one side, only exacerbated his discomfort.

He’d screwed up again. Big time. At least last year he’d been working a case. This

time it was just plain stupidity. If only he hadn’t gone for a run, if only he hadn’t cut

through the park, if only he could just get things to go his way for once.

“Mulder?”

Lost in self-recrimination, he hadn’t noticed Scully wake up.

“Hey, Scully.” His voice was croaky, his throat raw.

She came and sat on the edge of his bed. “How are you feeling?”

“I feel like a complete jerk.” He turned his head away from her. “I’ve done it to you

again.”

“Done what?” She pushed his hair back from his forehead.

“Screwed up the one day of the year where couples are supposed to make an extra

effort to show how much they love each other. I should have been making you feel

special, Scully. Not forcing you to spend another night camped in a hospital lounge.”

“Oh, Mulder.” She sighed, shaking her head. You idiot.” He turned to look at her

expecting anger, but she was smiling. “Don’t you get it?”

He arched an eyebrow.

“You make me feel special every day of my life. You have since the very first day we

started working together.”

“But . . .”

“No buts.” She took his hand. “I admit, it would have been nice to have our quiet

evening at home like we’d planned.” She brought his hand to her lips and kissed the

inside of his palm. “Mulder, there’s not too many men who would have gone to the

extremes you did last night so I wouldn’t be disappointed.” She squeezed his hand.

“I just wish you’d told me what had happened earlier and this might have been a lot

simpler to deal with. You know, pharmaceutical companies put recommended

dosage on their products for a reason.”

Obviously.

Scully was still speaking. “And of course there is the problem of an animal bite and

the chance of rabies . . .”

His eyes widened and his panic face was solidly in place.

She gave him a sympathetic smile and squeezed his hand. “It’s not as bad as the

horror stories. You’ll have to endure five injections over the course of the next

month.”

“In my stomach,” he whined.

“No, not any more. The treatment now is more effective and less painful than the

old days. Five injections, as I was saying, in your arm. As a matter of fact, they

gave you your first injection already. I have the schedule for the next four.”

“My arm itches,” he said, scratching absently at his left upper arm.

“Don’t scratch it! You’ll get it infected and you’ll be here even longer,” she warned.

“And I do want you home sometime in the near future.”

“Well, I plan to make it up to you, Scully.”

“You can make it up to me by behaving yourself when they spring you from here.

The doctor said you should be allowed to go home this afternoon.”

No malice, no ‘I’m -over- you- Mulder.’ No payback, no resentment. God, he’d really

hit the jackpot when he’d met Scully.

He reached up and cupped her cheek. “Have I told you lately how much I love you?”

She smiled, a soft gleam in her eyes. “I know it every time you look at me.”

She leaned down and kissed his lips and even in his dozy state, the effect was

immediate. His chest swelled, and when she worked her tongue into his mouth, so

did his groin. He pulled her against him, and she maneuvered herself so she was

stretched along the length of his body.

“Mr. Mulder!”

They both turned towards the nurse standing in the door way, a tray in her hand and

a smirk on her face.

“Looks like you’re feeling a lot better.” She smiled and backed out of the room. “I’ll

be back later to check your . . . um . . . vital signs.”

The door closed quietly behind her.

Mulder looked at Scully and grinned, then said in a low voice. “Would you like to

check my vitals, Agent Scully?”

She slapped him lightly on the shoulder and snuggled down next to him. “I’m

already well acquainted with all your vital signs, Mulder.”

Now that was something he knew to be true. And with thoughts of better things to

come, he wrapped both arms around her and pulled her tight against him.

THE END

rbahnsen@optusnet.com.au

Author’s Notes. — After writing nothing for over a year, I would like to thank Vickie

and Lisa for encouraging me to get back into it. Having to whip something up in 2

days was a little bit of a challenge after writing nothing for so long. But it’s been fun.

Thanks, guys.

Puppy Love

Title: Puppy Love

Author: Vickie Moseley

Artwork: MerciMulder

Summary: Not your usual Valentine’s Day story. Here be werewolves.

Written for Virtual Season 12’s Valentine’s Day Special.

Category: X, MA

Disclaimer: Rights to all characters save Sheriff Hardy and the deputy are the property of 20th Century Fox and 1013 Productions. No copyright infringement intended.

Additional Disclaimer: No real animals (or mythical creatures) were harmed in the production of this story. There is a disturbing death, but it was a righteous shoot, I swear.

Archives: VS 12 two week exclusive, then all others as requested. Tamra, you know it’s

yours, sweets.

Thanks to Lisa and Sally for once overs.

Feedback: Better than conversation hearts! vickiemoseley1978@yahoo.com

clip_image001

Puppy Love

Burkesville, Kentucky

February 13, 2005

Dana Scully held the cell phone to one ear and tapped her foot impatiently. “So you’re telling me it’s impossible,” she said flatly, trying to keep the disappointment out of her voice. “Yes, I know what day tomorrow is. It just never occurred to me that Valentine’s

Day would be a major holiday for airport travel.” She dug at the worn shag carpet of her motel room with her shoe. “Yes, I imagine a lot of businessmen need to get home on that day, but you’re telling me every single flight to DC is booked through Tuesday. Now,

surely, there are two seats, somewhere?” The answer made her cringe. “Yes, well, thanks for your help.” She clicked off the phone, not looking at all grateful.

“No go on changing our flight?” Mulder asked from the other side of the room. He was sitting at the lopsided desk, scribbling on a yellow legal pad. When he heard her heavy sigh, he looked up. “Hey, Scully, no harm, no foul. We can celebrate Valentine’s Day here.”

“Here?” she asked, waving one dainty manicured index finger to encompass their surroundings. “Mulder, this place makes some of the flea bags, or rather, some of the _other_ flea bags you’ve put us in look like the Ritz!”

“Hey, it’s not that bad,” he countered, immediately regretting his unconscious need to defend a choice that was not his in the making. “The sheets are clean,” he pointed toward the bed.

“It’s a double bed. Your feet hang off the end. When you aren’t lying at a diagonal, so that I have to curl up in a ball to keep from falling off,” she volleyed back. “And what about our reservations for dinner tomorrow night?”

He had no answer to that one. For once in his sorry existence he had actually remembered a major holiday in advance and had made reservations at the trendy new restaurant down from the Hill that Scully had been dying to try. Not to mention the diamond and emerald earrings he’d purchased for the big day were safely hidden in the

back of their bedroom closet at home.

“We may just have to postpone Valentine’s Day this year, Scully. It won’t be that bad. I’m sure the dinner special over at the diner will be, um, romantic?”

“Provided your wolfman doesn’t make another appearance,” Scully replied dryly, crossing her arms. “Werewolves, Mulder. Really?”

“You saw the body of that bartender, Scully. You were the one to tell me that the deep lacerations on the torso of Mr. Billy Bob Cravens had to have been made by a creature at least 6 feet tall with long claws. What do you think it was? And don’t mention that ‘b’ word again, because as the state Department of Natural Resources told us, they are all still hibernating.”

“Mulder, a bear that happened to wake up early is far more believable than a man who takes on the form of a wild animal just because the moon is full.”

“Dwight Millford is still missing, Scully. And seventeen witnesses at the Du Drop Inn are willing to testify to the threats he made against Cravins.”

“Dwight Millford might have been eaten by the same bear, Mulder,” she exclaimed as she smacked her arms to her sides in exasperation.

“Then we should be finding Dwight Millford’s remains _somewhere_,” he countered and stood up, almost knocking the desk chair over in the process. He grabbed his suit jacket off the back of the chair and slipped into it, then checked his gun. “The Sheriff is coming

by to take me back to where they found Cravins’ body. Apparently Millford has a hunting cabin in the woods near there, we’ll check it out. Any chance we’ll get the results back from the lab on the DNA samples from the body?”

“I asked them to rush it, Mulder, but I wouldn’t hold my breath,” she said with a sad shake of her head. “Maybe I should go out to the drop site with you,” she added, chewing on her lower lip.

“It’s muddier than all hell out there, Scully and they’re predicting more rain and possibly snow this afternoon. Besides, I’ll have the Sheriff with me. Stay here, wait for the lab. If they send you anything — damn it, there’s no cell phone reception out there,” he

remembered angrily. He ran his hand through his hair in frustration, then thought of something. “If the lab does email something, call the sheriff’s dispatcher and have them radio us. If the saliva found in the wounds matches Millford, I want to know about it as soon as possible.”

She looked more nervous as he reached for the door. “Mulder . . . please — ”

He smiled at her, and then took her in his arms. After kissing her lightly, he ran one fingertip across her lips. “I’ll be careful. I promise. Cross my heart and hope — ”

She stopped him with her own index finger touching his lips. “Don’t say it. Not even the part about needles in eyes,” she warned, giving him a faint smile. She hugged him fiercely. “Don’t forget your hat,” she said, scooping the watch cap up from its resting place near the window heat/air conditioning unit. She glared at him until he pulled it

over his ears.

“Gonna put on my mittens for me, too,” he growled, but she wasn’t concerned. She continued to glare until he put on his overcoat and buttoned it up to the neck.

“When you get back, we’ll go find something to eat,” she told him. With a last longing glance, he turned at the sound of the sheriff’s car horn.

“Love you,” he whispered quickly before running over to the squad car.

“You too,” she said to his back as she closed the door, trapping the little heat the room held.

Woods near Burkesville

4:45 pm

In true Weather Channel fashion, it had rained steadily all afternoon until a bitter north wind turned the raindrops in sharp little points of ice. Mulder turned his collar up against the wind and wished he had remembered his mittens. His leather gloves were more for

driving than for tramping through the Kentucky backwoods. He glanced down at his boots. At least he’d had the presence of mind to pack suitable footwear, something he knew his partner had not. “If combat boots make a comeback on the fashion scene, she

might get with the program,” he muttered to himself as he followed Sheriff Hardy through the snagging underbrush and tall pine and oak trees.

“Millford’s cabin’s right up there on that knob,” Hardy assured Mulder. Mulder squinted into the distance, wondering not for the first time what the difference was between the top of a hill and a ‘knob’. He had only a general idea of where they were headed and relied

on the Sheriff to lead the way.

After huffing and chuffing up the side of the hill, a small wooden cabin came into view. Mulder had to stop his automatic reaction — the place was a dead ringer for the down and out cabin that featured prominently in the movie ‘Deliverance’. The only things missing

were the hound dog and the toothless kid with the banjo. Sheriff Hardy didn’t put him at ease as they came within fifty feet of the porch. “Hold up a minute, Agent,” Hardy said, raising one hand and unholstering his weapon with the other. “Might wanta arm

yourself,” he cautioned as he waited for Mulder to unclip his holster and ready his Smith and Wesson.

Hardy took two steps and stood with his gun extended. “Millford — it’s Sheriff Hardy from Burkesville. C’mon out with your hands up!”

The silence of the woods was punctuated by the sound of the sleet hitting tree limbs and the coats of the two men.

“Dwight Millford. This is your last chance. Come out with your hands up!”

Again, only the sleet and the howling wind answered.

Hardy looked over toward Mulder and motioned toward the back of the cabin. Mulder nodded once in understanding and carefully moved to the left side of the structure and around back. He could hear Hardy’s heavy boots on the small front porch. Mulder found

a door in the back and with gun at the ready, reached out to take the handle.

All of a sudden the agent was bowled over by a highly charged force of brown fur. Finding himself flat on his back, the wind knocked out of him, Mulder looked up into the rimy eyes of a large dog. The dog’s teeth were bared and standing on Mulder’s chest it would be an easy movement for the animal to lean forward and take a bite out of his

neck.

Dog and man regarded each other silently over several heartbeats. Mulder fought to get his breath back, but the dog was perched directly on his diaphragm and ribs. The dog was huge. The beast weighed at least 100 lbs, or so Mulder surmised from his precarious

position on the ground. The dog seemed to have enough of the silence because the lips pulled back more than Mulder thought possible and the animal let out a low, deep- throated growl. The agent was trying to figure out how to bring his gun hand up under

the dog without having it attack when the decision was taken from him. The dog lunged forward, teeth clamping on Mulder’s neck at the same moment a loud explosion resounded through the air.

With his eyes clamped closed in anticipation of having his throat ripped out, Mulder felt the large animal crumple to his chest and then roll off his body. The teeth had managed to scrape the skin on his neck, but not take hold. When Mulder was able to pry his eyes

open, he saw the dog laying still, a bullet wound to the head. It was everything he could do not to lose his lunch.

“You awright there, Agent Mulder?” Hardy asked anxiously, dragging the dog more completely off the fallen man and offering a hand up. Slowly, still watching the dead animal for possible signs of life, Mulder made it to a standing position.

“Thanks, Sheriff. I think he mistook me for a chew toy,” Mulder quipped, but it was only to deflect the tremor he felt in his hands and heard in his own voice.

Hardy cocked his head toward the back of the house and then walked over in that direction. “‘Pears he weren’t a he,” the Sheriff said cryptically until he reached a hand under the steps to the back door and withdrew a puppy by the nap of the neck. “Was just

protectin’ her pup.”

“Damn it,” Mulder cursed with a grimace. “Are there others?”

Hardy traded his gun for a pocket maglite and investigated the crawlspace under the cabin. “Nope. Jus’ the one. Musta lost the others or maybe this was just a single. Happens sometimes with dogs been whelped a lot.”

The puppy squirmed and Hardy put it down on the ground. It bounded, stumbled and leaped its way over to the mother. Nosing at the fur, the pup attempted to wake the mother up, whimpering for attention. Instinctively, Mulder scooped the puppy into his

arms. “Sorry, little guy. You have no idea how sorry I am,” he soothed to the inconsolable handful of fur.

While Mulder tried to console the pup, Hardy checked the cabin. He came back out with a towel and a coffee can. “No sign of Millford. Doesn’t look like he’s been here for a while, either. Sure didn’t see no dog food. The momma was probably makin’ do with what she could find in the woods.” He dipped the end of the towel in the coffee can,

twisted the cloth loosely and brought it to the pup’s mouth. Hungrily the little furball latched onto the cloth and sucked freely. “Sugar water,” Hardy answered Mulder’s questioning look. “It’ll keep him for a bit.”

Mulder took the towel, dipping it again in the can while Hardy took a look at his neck.

“You got some scratches there. We’ll have to have the vet take a look at the body. We got rabies in these woods.”

“But it’s just a scratch.”

“Germs are in the saliva, Agent Mulder. Even a scratch can transmit the disease. We’d best get the dog’s body tested.”

Mulder sighed but nodded in agreement. “What’s going to happen to this one?” he motioned to the puppy in his arms.

“Want a huntin’ dog?” Hardy asked with a grin.

“Sheriff, I live in a duplex in the city. If this one grows up to the be size of the mother . . .”

Hardy nodded. “I understand. I’ll turn it over to animal control in town. Maybe someone will adopt it.”

Before Mulder could answer, the two men heard an earsplitting howl. Mulder shifted the pup to his other hand and produced his gun. Hardy switched out the maglite for his weapon and stood silent, listening to the woods.

“Do you think that was Millford?” Mulder asked.

“I know it t’weren’t no bear,” Hardy replied. Another howl caused both men to jump and the puppy to burrow into the crook of Mulder’s arm. The next howl was much closer.

“He’s comin’. Get in the cabin, at least we’d have a little protection.”

With the puppy firmly in his arms, Mulder ran up the three steps to the back door of the cabin, right on Hardy’s heels. While Mulder slammed and bolted the back door, Hardy did the same to the front. Hardy took up a position at one of the front windows, Mulder

at a small window in the back.

“Should we radio for back up?” Mulder was asking, just as something large and dark hurled itself against the back door.

Hardy smashed the walkie talkie against his palm. “I’d like to, but the battery’s dead,” Hardy shouted back. “I dropped it when I saw you about to get mauled. That might happen again if we don’t get these doors secured.”

Mulder put the puppy down and grabbed anything that moved to prop against the door. A table, a chair and a load of wood were soon stacked as obstacles to any intruder. Hardy had been similarly busy at the other door, moving a wooden box and some remaining

chairs to block the path. There was another crash at the back door and Mulder’s furniture tower shook with the force of the blow.

“Damn it, Scully keeps reminding me we need to attend that teambuilding conference,” he said to the puppy that cowered at his leg. “It’s OK, fella. Just your kindly owner turned into a vicious beast out there. Nothing to worry about.”

“Too dark to see anythin’ out there,” Hardy shouted. “I think — ” The beast threw itself at the front door. “Never mind. I was thinkin’ we could get out this way while he’s occupied out back.”

“I think he can smell us, Sheriff,” Mulder said. Hardy snorted and checked the clip in his gun, a Glock 9 mm. “Unless you happen to have some silver bullets in that clip, it’s not going to do us any good.”

“You been watchin’ too many creature features, Agent Mulder. This baby’ll blow his head plum off.”

“Not if we can’t see well enough to aim,” Mulder said pointedly. Outside the window, night had fallen. It was pitch black.

“Damn. Guess I shoulda called for back up earlier,” Hardy mused.

The being outside had given up trying to crash through the door. It now scratched and sniffed at the windows, once pressing a wet snout to the glass. Hardy took aim but the creature moved out of the way before he could get a bead.

“Damnit all. We’re stuck here.”

“Scully is gonna be so pissed,” Mulder moaned as he slid down the wall to the floor. The puppy scrambled over and started to chew on the agent’s shoelace. “And I bet you’re getting hungry,” he told the pup.

“I know I am,” replied Hardy.

“It’s getting pretty cold in here, too,” Mulder answered. “Maybe we should start a fire.”

Hardy reached into his pocket and pulled out a lighter. “Go ‘head. I’ll keep watch,” he promised. Soon Mulder had a small fire going, enough to take the edge off the cold in the room. He didn’t want to make a large fire because they needed the wood to pile against the doors.

It was pretty unnerving, as they sat in the darkness. The beast outside would slam itself against one door and then the other, but never figured out that it could break the glass.

Maybe it feared the fire it could see from the window, but not enough to turn it away from the cabin. Just when they thought it might have gone, it hurled its body against the wood door and the hinges would groan with the stress.

A few hours later, the puppy had curled up between Mulder’s legs and fallen fast asleep. Absently, Mulder rubbed the baby fine fur on its head and ears. From what he could see of the mother before they’d run into the cabin, it was at least part German Shepherd.

“You’ll make somebody a great watch dog, I bet,” he murmured softly. Picking up one tiny leg, he squinted at the toes. “And with feet this big, you’re sure to be a brut. Nobody’s gonna mess with you.”

“Agent Mulder,” Hardy called from his place against the far wall. “No sense in both of us being awake. Why don’t you try and get some sleep while I take watch. I’ll wake you up in a few hours.”

“I don’t think I can fall asleep, not with that — ” Mulder admitted, jerking his thumb toward the sound of the latest impact between wolfman and cabin.

“Still, stretch out, get a little rest,” Hardy advised.

Mulder had just lain down when the fire collapsed and left only the embers. The room was plunged into darkness. Apparently, it was just what the monster was waiting for. With a shattering of glass and broken timbers, the wolf creature came through the window.

Hardy took aim and fired his clip but the creature flinched and yet managed to stay on his feet. Slowly he looked around and with glowing red eyes, he found his target. He headed straight for Mulder. One long arm slashed through the air, Mulder could feel the

sharp claws come within a hair’s breath of his skin. He jumped back, pulling his weapon.

Although he knew it was useless, he fired four rounds in succession. They were all direct hits, but it didn’t faze the creature at all.

From the floor, Mulder caught sight of the puppy. Suddenly awakened, he expected the pup to scurry closer to him, seeking protection. Instead, something amazing happened.

The little dog bared its teeth and with a tiny imitation growl, flung itself at the ankle of the creature. The wolf being howled in pain when the needle-like milk teeth of the pup sank into its flesh. It kicked the leg with the puppy attached and swatted at the dog. The

pup went flying a few yards away. The pup rolled like a little fur covered ball, scrambled to its feet and tore right after the creature again. Mulder watched in awe as the puppy attacked the beast, distracting it enough for him to find one of the logs from the pile

behind him. He brought the two-foot of tree limb crashing down on the monster’s head.

The impact was enough to stun the creature. It fell to its knees, almost landing on the puppy. The pup scrambled out of the way, but went back in for the ‘kill’. The wolf gained its senses slowly and made a swipe at the pup just as a gunshot came through the window. A second round followed and unlike previously, the monster’s eyes glazed and he crumpled to the floor, right on top of the puppy.

Mulder raced over and rolled the beast off the puppy. The little scrap of fur lay motionless. He picked it up gently, tears forming in his eyes. As he cradled the little dog close, he half heard the Sheriff taking down the barricade and admitting his deputy and Scully.

Mulder was stroking the tiny back when Scully made her way over to him. “Mulder, are you all right?” she asked, side stepping the creature at their feet.

“It was protecting me,” he said in a hoarse voice. “It went after that thing. Scully, why in the world would it do that?” he asked her, looking into her eyes, showing plainly the anguish in his own.

“Mulder, it’s an instinct. Protection is bred into dogs and . . .” As she spoke, the little legs moved and the tiny head gave a shake. Mulder’s agonized expression turned to one of pure joy as he held the puppy up close to his face and the little spotted tongue came out to lick wildly at his nose.

“You’re OK! You made it! You’re some fighter, for a light weight!” Mulder crowed as he held the puppy close to his face and showered it with kisses. Scully couldn’t help but laugh at him, but it was a joy-filled laugh.

the next evening

“So tell me again, how did you get the silver bullets. Or better yet, _why_ did you bring silver bullets?” Mulder asked his partner as he put down his wine glass and took her hand across the candle lit table.

“Elementary, my dear Mulder,” she said with a cheshire cat grin. “You’d be surprised what you’d find in the tool shed of your typical Kentucky boy. The deputy didn’t even blink when I asked him where I could find silver bullets to fit my gun. He just told me he’d pick me up in a squad car and when he arrived at our door, he handed me the clip already loaded.”

“But Scully, earlier you were convinced we dealing with a, dare I say it, bear.”

“Right up until I got the lab reports, yes, I did think we were likely dealing with a bear. A brown bear, to be exact. But when I opened the email and found that there was human saliva in the wounds . . .”

“You realized we were going after ‘the wolfman’,” he finished.

“And when you didn’t come back and it was getting late, I called the Deputy, who knew exactly how to find Dwight Millford’s cabin — ”

“In the dark, during a sleet storm,” Mulder interjected.

“And he didn’t argue at all when I asked for the silver bullets. Seems it’s been a legend around these parts for some time.”

“Well, I am certainly relieved,” Mulder sighed. He took her hand and kissed it lightly.

“And see, we still get to celebrate Valentine’s Day.”

Scully looked around the darkened room, lit only by four or five votive candles. “Yeah, with take out pizza and a bottle of red wine of indeterminate vintage,” she said with a smirk.

“Ah, but it’s who you celebrate with that matters,” he told her, dishing up a piece of the pizza from the box and putting it on a paper plate in front of her.

“Speaking of which,” she said with a grimace. Leaning down, she picked up a small bundle of fur with a long tongue. “The motel is going to charge us extra for the little puddles this one has been leaving behind,” she noted.

“Let ’em. I don’t care.”

“Mulder, what are we going to do with a dog? As you so rightly pointed out when I acquired Queequeg, we’re on the road a lot, we have no way to care for a dog — ”

“Scully, I have an idea. Just wait till we get home.”

Tara Scully’s residence

Fairland, MD

Tara stood at the top of the stairs, watching her son roll on the floor, playing with his new pet.

“I haven’t seen Matty this excited — well, since . . .” she let her voice trail off. It had been no secret that Bill’s death had almost crushed his son. “But really, Mulder, from what you told me, are you sure you want to give him up?”

“We don’t have room at the duplex, Tara. I gotta warn you, he’s gonna be a bruiser. But he’ll be a great watchdog. And he’s very protective. I really think he’d be better off with you.”

The slim blond leaned over and gave Mulder a hug around the waist. “I just wish Billy had given you a chance,” she said with a sad smile.

“He wasn’t completely wrong, Tara. I’ve done things — ”

“Shhh, none of that,” she said, a finger to his lips. She dropped her hands and combed her fingers through her now short hair. “We wanted to get Matty a dog. We just wanted to wait until we had a bigger yard than we had in base housing.”

At that moment, Matty came flying up the stairs, the puppy hopping and leaping to follow. “What’s his name, Mr. Mulder?” he asked.

Mulder winced, he really hoped one day the boy would drop the Mr. part. “We’ve been calling him ‘wolf’ but he doesn’t really come to it yet. I guess it’s up to you to name him, Sport.”

The boy thought for a moment, and then reached down and picked up the puppy, looking it in the face. “Wolf. Wolf. Wolfy.” He looked up at Mulder. “I kinda like that name, Mr. Mulder.”

“Then Wolf it is,” Mulder said with a grin.

“C’mon Wolf, I’ll show you my room.” Matty carried the puppy up the other flight of stairs toward the bedrooms.

“Keep him off the bed,” Tara warned. “At least until we get him housebroken.”

“Mulder, I think that’s our cue to leave,” Scully said with a wink. After kissing baby Claire and giving Tara a hug, they walked out to the car together.

When they reached the passenger side door, Scully pulled her partner down and gave him a sizzling kiss. He returned the favor, but eventually, the need for oxygen won out. When he reluctantly pulled back, he gave her a curious look. “What was that for?” he asked.

“The best Valentine’s present I ever got,” she said and kissed him once again.

Mulder smiled all the way around the car and was still smiling as he eased himself into the driver’s seat. “Does this mean I can take back the earrings?”

“Not on your life, Mister,” she replied.

His grin got even broader. “Didn’t think so.”

the end.