Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Pamela Joy Stafford
November 5, 2017
Set in time frame of "Little Green Men" the agents miss working together since the X-Files are closed.
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Scully wakes with a start. 11:21 p.m. is what the clock beside her bed says. As she looks it switches to 11:22. She is awake and so expects a phone call. When she wakes like this, she usually receives a phone call from Mulder. She doesn't question how this works or why it is true. Mulder had told her, when they were still working as partners, that brothers and sisters sometimes have sixth sense about when the other was going to call. She had scoffed at him at the time, but later had wondered if that was why she knew when he was going to call. Were they bonded together like brother and sister? At 11:30 p.m. she reminds herself that he is not going to call and had told her not to call. He is sure their phones are being tapped. It is too dangerous. In fact, they hadn't spoken on the phone since the night he called her to tell her the X-Files was being shut down. Perhaps he had been thinking about her at 11:21 when she woke and that is why she woke up. She pushed that thought out of her brain, gets out of bed, and goes to the kitchen to make a cup of soothing herbal tea.
She misses Mulder. She sips the tea at her kitchen table wondering how she had become so attached to him. She has never been a woman who had a lot of friends. She is close, really, only with her sister. She had been in love with men, but that was a different type of relationship than with Mulder. There had been that first spark of attraction the day she first met him in the basement office. She had felt it and had felt it from him, but they were professional partners and wouldn't indulge that attraction. She is glad they had not because what they had come to mean to each other is special,unique-it is like nothing she will ever have with another man. For that matter, she thinks as she smells the aroma from the tea, it is unlike any friendship she has ever had. She cannot imagine another partner and her having that same type of relationship.
She ponders the relationship as she drinks the tea. It is not romantic, but is flirtatious. The physical attraction is still there. There is more than that, though, and had been since the first meeting. There is a cerebral connection. They both enjoy banter and they are perfect opposites in their belief systems. He respects her brain, as corny as that sounds, in a way no others did. They are the perfect opposites, but in some ways they are so completely aligned. He is simply so easy in some ways and so challenging in others to be around.
Once, when she was telling her mother about something Mulder had said, her mother had suggested the possibility of a romance, but Scully told her it was absurd. It is absurd. They are, after all, partners. Except of course, now they are not. The X-Files are closed and she has been reassigned. So it could be more now, couldn't it?
Scully is angry with herself for that last thought. Damn it. She chips the cup as she rinses it off, a little too aggressively. She throws it now in the trash, turns around and folds her arms across the chest in frustration. She thinks for a while and bites her bottom lip. There is no romance and not much of a friendship if they can't even talk. He is afraid they are in danger. He won't even talk to her in the FBI hallways. He told her to turn over the picture frame on his desk if she wanted to meet covertly and to do that only if she had something important to tell him. What did she have to tell him- that she misses him? What the Hell did that matter? In time she would forget, would she not? They would, in time, just be FBI agents who used to be partners?
She is overwhelmed with concern that without her he will give up his quest. She has to tell him to reach out to her if he needs her. If she knows he is ok, then it would be easier not to miss him so much. She will be more aggressive about speaking to him in the hallway tomorrow. If that doesn't work, then she will turn down the picture and meet him covertly. She tells herself she will take that risk to make sure he is ok. She will keep the fact of how much she misses him to herself.
Damn Scully, he thinks right before he falls asleep. She had taken a Hell of a risk turning down that picture and meeting him in the parking lot of the Watergate hotel. Why? What had she wanted? She said it was to make sure it was that he was ok, but, of course, he isn't ok. He is only ok with her. God, he misses her. He misses her even more now having seen her and talked to her again, She always has that affect of making him feel like there is a lifeboat in a sea of chaos. He thinks about her when he is listening to surveillance. The tools have been taken from him. He is angriest, though, about Scully being taken away. Deep throat said "Trust no one." In Mulder's mind that meant trust only Scully because...he knows he can trust Scully. He indulges himself with reliving their conversation, the way she smiled, the way she ruffled his hair as she left him. Damn it. He does not have romantic feelings about Scully, he tells himself. She is just the first person he can banter with and yet still feel completely aligned with since his sister was abducted. That's it! He has sisterly feelings about Scully! She isn't his sister, of course. She isn't even his partner, now, and that red hair framing her face...Stop it! It can never be romantic; that would ruin everything, because what she is means so much more. She is the one person in the world who cares enough about him to risk her life to ask if he was ok. She is the only one he can trust, he thinks. Then the image of her walking away from him in the parking lot comes to him mind. The way her hips sway. Damn Scully, he thinks right before he falls asleep.