text file (33k)

Mulder gets an attack of the green-eyed monster,
but is it justified?

CONTENT WARNING: some language, but nothing too bad
SPOILERS: diverges from canon after Milagro
DISCLAIMER: Not mine; they belong to CC, FOX, etc.

* * * * *
* * * * *

"O, beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock the meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger; but O, what damned minutes tells he o'er who dotes, yet doubts; suspects, yet strongly loves!"
- Iago, Othello Act III, Scene III

* * * * *

"Agent Scully is already in love."

As much as I hated that little prick, Padgett, for his fantasies about my partner, and especially for his apparent influence over her, I depended on him for that seed of hope he planted in my heart.

From the way he said it, it seemed to eliminate the possibility that he was speaking about himself. I know my partner, and I have a pretty good idea of her schedule--and I certainly had no indication of any other players in her life that might have garnered that kind of attention from her. I also had a pretty good idea that she might return my own feelings for her, although we had never discussed it. So, the seed of hope was planted in me that day, and I continued to water it, that maybe, just maybe, my partner was in love with *me.*

Well, that is, until what happened today.

Now, I'm used to the way other men look appreciatively at my partner, and I'm used to her acting oblivious to their stares and advances. There is even the occasional request for a date, and I'm used to her turning them down. What I wasn't used to is what I heard today.

We've been in Hicksville, USA for the past three days working on this missing persons case (Scully resolutely refuses to use the term "abduction," despite the abundant reports of colored lights in the sky), and the dapper Deputy Dan has made no attempt to hide his obvious interest in my partner. I thought maybe he had already been shot down by her, until this morning, when he approached me after she left for the morgue and surreptitiously asked if she had a boyfriend or husband back at home. Apparently I haven't been exuding strong enough alpha male vibes--I need to work on that.

Always happy to watch Scully turn down another unworthy suitor, I told the deputy that she was single, and for a moment I pitied him as he went about his business with a hopeful expression. Little did he know....

Actually, little did *I* know. It wasn't that she didn't turn him down--she did. But, what I didn't expect was her reason why.

I had missed the event itself, which apparently took place sometime after lunch while I was busy interviewing a witness, but Dan later felt the need to share it with me. I was busy refilling my mug with the swill from the coffeemaker when he walked up beside me and divulged in a confidential tone, "I guess your partner's seeing somebody after all."

"What??" I think I gave a little bit too much away with my response, but if Dan noticed, he was too kind--or too sympathetic--to react to it.

"I asked her out for dinner tonight, but she told me that she's not available right now. I asked her if that was just a line to get rid of me--I was just joking with her, of course, trying to keep the mood light--and she said that she's kind of already committed to somebody. Just thought you should know."

In retrospect, I'm not sure exactly *why* he thought I should know, but at the time, that wasn't what I was concerned about. Scully's already *committed* to somebody? When did this happen? Who the hell is it? And why hasn't she told me?

* * *

I've been rather proud of myself the last few days. As much as I'm dying to invade Scully's privacy or just flat out demand that she tell me who she's been seeing, I've managed to control myself. After all, I guess she has to want to tell me, and it's important that I trust her enough to tell me in her own time.

Or maybe I'm just too chicken to learn the truth.

We've been home for nearly a week now (and just because the farmer had been drinking excessively the night he disappeared and returned without a scratch doesn't mean he *wasn't* abducted by aliens), and everything seems normal so far. In fact, I've even started to wonder a bit if maybe Deputy Dan wasn't mistaken in his interpretation of Scully's words, or if she really said what he told me she said. Maybe he was just too depressed that she turned him down for no reason, so he had to make one up to protect his ego. Or, maybe she told him that she couldn't go out with him because she was in love with me, so he was just trying to get back at me....

Okay, I know the latter option is highly unlikely, but I can dream, can't I?

It's currently late afternoon, and Scully seems to be studiously working on her field report or something, but to be honest, I'm just sitting here killing time. Well, killing time and strategizing on how to win back my partner. Who's to say that I'm not a better catch than this other guy? Isn't it only fair for me to have a shot at making her a better offer?

So, I'm just screwing up the courage to ask her out to dinner when her cell phone rings.

"Scully. ...Oh, hi!"

I'm trying not to eavesdrop--or, at least, trying not to be obvious about it--but she seems *very* happy to be talking to whomever is on the other end of the line.

Now she's looking at her watch.

"No, that's no problem. Will 6:00 work? ...Then it's a date! ...Okay, talk to you later."

I quickly glance away as Scully closes her phone, but then as I venture to look back toward her, I see that she is busy packing up her stuff.

"Mulder, I'm gonna get going. It's after 4:30, and I have to stop by the lab before I head home, so I won't be back here before five. I'll see you tomorrow."

Before I have a chance to respond, she's out the door. I don't think she even looked over at me once during that little speech. I could've been slumped over from a heart attack, and she wouldn't even have noticed. So much for watching my back.

*It's a date*? What's that supposed to mean? She doesn't actually mean it's a *date,* does she? Is Scully going out on a date tonight? Who with?

I will not sit outside of Scully's apartment. I will not sit outside of Scully's apartment. I will not sit outside of Scully's apartment....

* * *

I guess she went straight to her "date" that night, because Scully didn't go home before 6:00, and when she came home over an hour later, she was alone--not that I was sitting outside of her apartment building waiting for her....

That was Wednesday. Thursday passed without event, and there haven't been any calls today--at least not yet. I've already tried twice to come up with a valid case to take us out of town for the weekend, but Scully shot both of them down (granted, they were both taken from the tabloids, but just because a story makes the front page of the National Inquirer doesn't mean it isn't true).

The problem is that I'm no closer to finding out the truth, and I'm driving myself crazy by dwelling on it. I look at my watch. It's almost 4:00, and we'll soon be going our separate ways for the next two days. I'm not sure I'll be able to handle sitting at home wondering about who she's with and what she's doing. I think I'm going to have to confront her about this.

Uh, oh. Her cell phone is ringing again. This can't be a good sign, because I know I'm not the one calling her.

"Scully. ...Oh, hi. I was just wondering if we're still on for Saturday. ...Why don't you stop by my place at 6:30. ...Okay, sounds good. ...I love you, too. Bye."


So much for hiding my eavesdropping--I'm pretty sure that I'm staring at her right now.

"Mulder, are you done with that expense report?"



She's looking at me right now like I'm crazy. But how can she be talking about expense reports at a time like this?

"The expense report. The one sitting in front of you on the desk. Are you done with it? Because I need to run this paperwork up to Skinner's office, and I'd like to take that one up too if it's finished."

"Um, no, it's not done yet. I'll drop it off before I go."

"Okay, then I'll take these up. See you in a few."

She's out the door already. Is she really oblivious to what just happened, or was she just deflecting and making a quick escape to avoid any conversation about it?

*I LOVE YOU*????

* * *

Okay, I didn't follow Scully home, at least not intentionally, but I do happen to be parked outside her building right now. I didn't get a chance to say anything before she left today, and I just can't let the weekend pass without talking to her about this.

The thing is, we're not just partners, we're friends, and I'd like to think that she'd be comfortable telling me about something as important as this. It's not like she's just been casually dating this guy. Apparently, she's in love with him, enough so that they've said it to each other out loud, which suggests to me that it's pretty serious. How could Padgett have known this, yet I had no clue until just a few days ago?

I'm just about to get out of my car and go up to her apartment when I see Scully emerge from the building. She gets into her car and takes off down the street.

I'm not following her; I just happen to be headed in the same direction (wherever that is)....

Scully pulls into the parking lot of a trendy Italian restaurant, and I find an empty space across the street (there's a, um...hardware store here that I've really been wanting to visit, because, I, uh...I've been having trouble with my plumbing--that doesn't sound good at all; maybe I need another excuse...). I watch in my rear view mirror as she comes around the side of the building and approaches the front door. Before she reaches it, something stops her. I turn to look back through the window, thus expanding my field of vision, and I notice what's caught her attention: a man is approaching her on the sidewalk from the other direction.

He's about 5'10" with reddish-brown hair and a receding hairline. I stop paying attention to what he looks like when he reaches Scully and immediately pulls her up into a big hug. They hold each other a little too long for my liking, and then he has the audacity to kiss her on the cheek as they pull away (although, she doesn't really look like she's objecting), and he steps forward to open the door for her. A moment later, they disappear into the restaurant, and I'm left here in the car staring after them like an idiot.

* * *

Knock, knock, knock.

"C'mon, guys, it's me. Open up!"

I start pounding again, but I finally hear the locks starting to disengage.

"Where's the fire, Mulder?"

I shove past Frohike, finally admitted into their chamber of electronic horrors. I wave my bottle at him as I pass.

"Down the hatch. Join me, Fro. Misery loves company."

Lucky for me, there had been a liquor store right next to the hardware place. I had a good reason for parking there after all.

"What'd you do to piss her off this time?"

Perceptive as always, Frohike knows this had something to do with Scully. Or maybe that's because I only come over anymore when she isn't speaking to me for some reason.

"I think I've lost her. Or I'm going to lose her. It's only a matter of time."

The little man doesn't get my drift yet, I can tell from his expression. So, I clarify: "She's in love with someone else."

I shouldn't have added the "else." I think that gave a little too much away. Time to open the bottle. But I know that Frohike understands. I think he's just as much in love with her as I am. Hell, so is Skinner, and Deputy Dan, and every other poor sap that crosses her path. Maybe we should start our own support group.

Down the hatch.

Frohike takes the bottle from my hand and pours a couple of shots into the glasses that he's produced from somewhere. I'm hoping that those are for him and that he'll hand the bottle back to me, but he gives me a shot glass instead.

We both empty our glasses and Frohike graciously refills them both before he responds to the news.

"Who is he?"

"I don't know. Does it matter? Okay, yeah, of course it matters. She deserves someone great. She deserves someone better than me."

Too much information. Must be the liquor talking.

"Have you ever told her how you feel?"

"God, no. Why would I do that?"

"Then maybe she got tired of waiting around for you. You couldn't expect her to wait forever."

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about the fact that for years now, no one else has had a chance with Scully because she's been smitten with you--God only knows why."

Frohike heads for the bottle again, and I hand him my empty glass.

"You're talking out of your ass, buddy. Scully's never had a thing for me. She's in love with this other guy."

"And I'm tellin' ya it's only because she got tired of waiting for you."

"That's ridiculous." Isn't it? I can't really think straight right now.

"Maybe she's just doing this to make you jealous."

"Scully wouldn't do that." Would she? "She's in love with him."

"She told you that?"

"No, I kinda overheard it. She said it to him on the phone."

"In front of you?"

"Yeah." Why is my glass empty? I really wish Frohike would give me the bottle back.

"Then how do you know it was really a man?"

"You think Scully's in love with a woman?" That brings all sorts of interesting images to mind.

"No, man. I mean, maybe that was a friend of hers just playing around with her so that you'd overhear and get jealous. Women do stuff like that all the time."

"Not Scully. Besides, she doesn't have any friends. I don't let her have any friends." That's not what I meant. "I mean, she doesn't have any friends because of me. She's stuck with me all the time."

"Then how does she have time for a boyfriend?"

He's got a point. I'm sure there's a great argument to refute him, but I can't think of it right now.

"I don't know. She just does. I know she does. I saw him tonight."

Frohike throws back another shot and then slams his glass down on the table upside down. At least one of us knows when he's had enough. I reach for the bottle again, but he won't give it to me.

"Did you get his license plate number?"

"No. I don't even know his name. She hasn't told me anything about him. She doesn't even know that I know."

I try for the bottle one more time, but Frohike slaps my hand away. "Here's what you're gonna do. You're gonna call her up tomorrow and tell her how you feel about her."

"No, I'm not."

"Yes, you are. Don't you think she deserves to know?"

"What good'll it do? She doesn't want me."

"She used to, and maybe she still does. You'll never know until you try. Besides, what've you got to lose?"

I sigh. "Scully."

* * *

I woke up this morning with my face pressed into the dirty upholstery of a ratty old couch, far more lucid than anyone should have been at that time of day or with this much of a hangover. Somehow, I managed to remember every word of the conversation that I'd had with Frohike last night, and I realized there's a certain logic to it. If Deputy Dan got up the courage to ask Scully out, why can't I? At least when she rejects me, she'll have to give me a reason, and then the truth will finally come out.

So, here I am, sitting in front of her building again, trying to convince myself to go knock on her front door.

And then I see him. The same guy from the restaurant last night--the guy who hugged and then kissed my partner--is now exiting her building. And it's not even 9:00 in the morning yet! This is not a good sign.

I watch carefully as he gets into a blue Ford Taurus, and I make sure to catch his license plate number as he pulls away.

There's no way I can go talk to her now, not after she's...(I can't even think about it)...with *him.* Lucky bastard.

Too bad I didn't think to grab that bottle on the way out the door this morning.

* * *

It's almost 6:00 pm now. I've tried everything I can think of to get Scully off my mind today, but it hasn't worked. The only thing I've succeeded in doing is proving to myself just how much time I usually spend thinking about her. And now I finally have to face the truth: no matter what, I'm going to lose her.

You see, it's a catch 22. I'm damned if I do, and I'm damned if I don't. If I tell her how I feel, then she rejects me and finds it uncomfortable to continue working with me, so she leaves. If I don't tell her, then she keeps right on seeing this guy, and eventually he'll propose and she'll accept, and she'll get married and leave me. It's a lose/lose situation.


Dare I even hope? Could Frohike be right? Is it possible that learning how I feel about her might change the situation? If there's even a chance that Scully might turn this guy away and give me a shot instead, then I have to take it. If I've already lost her either way, then what do I have left to lose?

By 6:10, I'm out the door and on my way to her apartment. On the way over, I remember the call she got yesterday (okay, I never really forgot about it--how could I?--but I only now choose to acknowledge it) and realize that she has a date with Mr. Wonderful at 6:30. If I go just a little faster, maybe I can beat him there....

No such luck. When I pull up in front of her building, the first thing I notice is the same blue Taurus from this morning. Maybe he was only going out to pick up breakfast earlier and has been here all day. It doesn't matter. I've already made up my mind--I have to talk to her. The least she can do is introduce me to the guy that she's going to leave me for.

When Scully opens the door, I can't help but notice how beautiful she looks. She isn't particularly dressed up, only semi-casually, in a soft pair of khakis that cling to her in all the right places but not so tightly as to be provocative, and a blue sweater I've never seen her in before that is perfectly suited to match her eyes.

Then I notice how she's looking at me. Is that because she's surprised to see me, or because I'm standing here ogling her?

"Mulder. What are you doing here?" Okay, definitely surprise. She's blocking the doorway, as if she's not particularly interested in letting me in.

"We need to talk." I step forward to move into the apartment, but she maintains her position, barring my way.

"This isn't a good time."

Now, I'm getting annoyed. "I already know he's here, Scully. There's no point in hiding him from me anymore. Don't you think it's about time you introduced us?"

"What are you talking about?"

Okay, now I'm just getting pissed. I can't handle her lying to me. I decide to make use of my greater bulk and force my way past her into the apartment. I can smell something cooking in the kitchen, maybe a roast or something, and while the table isn't set yet, there are candles lit, and the dishes sitting on the counter testify to a nice dinner in the making.

While I survey the scene, Scully shuts the door behind me and moves up alongside me, arms crossed over her chest. Now *she's* getting pissed.

"Mulder, I don't know what's going on here, but this isn't the time for it. If you'll just go home and let me call you later--"

"No, Scully." Her hushed tone is only frustrating me further because she obviously doesn't want *him* to overhear our conversation. But I don't care anymore. In fact, I think I want him to hear. So I raise my voice. "There's something I have to say to you. There's something you need to know, and I don't care if he hears me or not. *I'm* the one who's been a part of your life for the last six years, and I'm not going to just sit by and watch while someone else takes you away from me without telling you how I really feel."


"No, I need you to hear me out. The thing is, Scully, I love you. I've loved you for as long as I can remember. And maybe it took me longer than it should have to realize just how I felt about you, but that's only because I've never felt this way about anyone else before. It's not just infatuation or lust, it's something so much deeper. What I feel for you, I feel in my soul. And maybe it won't make any difference to you now. Maybe you think you've already found that love with someone else. But I need you to ask yourself if there isn't a chance for something between us. We're good together, Scully. I think we've proven that. And I hope you'd at least give us a chance before you agree to marry someone else."

I'm not really sure what all I've just said, but I know it came from my heart. Scully is left speechless, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing--nor am I sure how to interpret the fact that she looks incredibly pale right now.

Then the doorbell rings. At first I'm confused--who else is she expecting? Then I think, maybe her date had stepped out and wasn't really here after all. But why was she talking quietly before, like she didn't want someone to overhear?

Scully sighs, looks at her watch, then turns and opens the door.

"Dana, honey, sorry I'm running a few minutes late. I hope you don't mind."

"No, Mom, it's no problem. I'm just glad you could make it."

The door opens further, and Mrs. Scully enters after giving her daughter a brief hug. "Fox, I didn't realize you'd be joining us tonight."

But I don't hear what Scully is saying in response because it just now hits me what's going on, and my stomach sinks. I realize I'm too late.

"Oh, my God."

Both women are looking at me in surprise as I stand here in shock.

"You already said yes, didn't you? That's what tonight is about. You invited your mother over to tell her the news, so she could welcome him into the family. It's already too late."

"Dana, what's he talking about?"

I expect that Scully's furious with me now for letting the cat out of the bag. I'm just so horrified by what's happening that the fight has drained from me. I see her approaching me with intention, and I'm not sure if it's to slap me or to throw me out. As she reaches me, she grabs my hand, pulls me over to the side of the room, and gives me her order: "Shut up and don't move."

Okay. I'm not really sure what's going to happen next, but I know to obey when I hear Scully's no-nonsense tone of voice.

So, I stay put and watch the events unfold. Mrs. Scully is still staring at me in confusion, but her daughter gently places a hand on her back to turn her away from me and then leads her further into the living room.

"Happy birthday, Mom."

I think that her voice is a little unnecessarily loud to address someone standing right in front of her, but then I start to realize why: she wasn't just talking to her mother. From the back hallway emerges a familiar face, a man with reddish-brown hair and a receding hairline.

Apparently Mrs. Scully knows him quite well, because she immediately heads for him with arms outstretched. I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner, but she's probably the one that set the two of them up. Why not? I'm sure he's a good Catholic guy, just the kind that Scully's parents would approve of, who could give her a stable home life--


He takes her up into a big bear hug that I can't help but compare to the way he accosted--I mean, greeted--my partner last night. "Happy birthday, Mom!"

I think that just sealed my fate. He's already calling her "Mom." Maybe this relationship has been going on even longer than I realized.

And then several other people start to emerge from the back hallway, and I don't fully understand what's going on here.

Until suddenly it dawns on me where I've heard the name Charlie before....

Oh, shit. This was a surprise party for Scully's mother (*that's* who she was talking to on the phone yesterday), and this mystery man is Scully's brother--and I just confessed my love to her in front of an audience.

Can I get out of here without anyone noticing?

Apparently not, because Charles Scully has been released from his mother's embrace, and now he's making a beeline for me. I have an immediate and unfortunate vision of Bill Scully advancing upon me. Why didn't I notice the family resemblance before now?

"So, you must be the infamous Fox Mulder. Charlie Scully. Glad to finally meet you."

He's smiling at me--although I suspect it's only because he's laughing at me--and his hand is extended, ostensibly in greeting. I'm afraid to make contact lest I end up in a chokehold, but I reluctantly reach out my hand. To my relief, he merely shakes hands with me and then releases his grip. He already knows who I am, so I don't need to introduce myself, and I'm not really sure what else to say. I just settle for giving him an embarrassed smile (that's the only kind I have to offer right now).

He's still grinning at me. "Good thing Bill isn't here. We'd have to hog-tie him after that little speech of yours." He must sense my discomfort and rushes to reassure me. "Don't worry, I don't listen to Bill any more than Dana does. If she doesn't think you're a sorry son of a bitch, then neither do I."

Well, I think that was meant to be reassuring. I still think he's laughing at me, so I'm not really sure how to take that.

"Uh, I think I should get going. I've already intruded enough on your family time."

"Stay. I'm sure Mom would want you to be here."

"No, I think I've already overstayed my welcome. I should go. But it was nice meeting you."

And I head for my car as quickly as possible.

* * *

The silence is finally broken by a light tapping on the door. I'd know that knock anywhere. I knew she'd come looking for me sooner or later, which is why I decided I might as well just wait here for her and accept my fate.

"It's open!"

I don't really have the energy to get up from the couch. I already used it up with hours of self-flagellation.

A dim light pours into the room from the hallway. I hear her hesitation, and then the kitchen light goes on. It's just enough to provide illumination but not directly blind me.

"Why are you sitting here in the dark?"

I shrug. "I don't know. The sun went down, and I just never got around to turning the lights on."

I'm kind of sprawled out on the couch, slumped down into the cushions. I know I should make some space for her or act a little more hospitable, but that would require movement, which would require expending energy. So I just sit here.

After a moment's deliberation, Scully gingerly steps across my outstretched legs and then perches next to me on the couch. I close my eyes and brace myself to receive whatever's coming to me.

"Mom says hi. She was sorry that you didn't stay for the party."

I can't help but laugh at that. Yeah, I'm sure they were all real sorry that I didn't stay after that little display I made. But *I'm* sorry for the mess I left behind, and I realize I need to tell her that.

"I'm sorry for embarrassing you, Scully. I entirely misunderstood the situation, and I made an ass of myself--but what else is new?"

"Apology accepted." I think I detect a hint of amusement in her voice, but I don't bother to look over to confirm that. "Now, would you like to explain to me what exactly was going through your head?"

Now I open my eyes and look over at her. She looks genuinely puzzled, and compassionate rather than angry or mocking--but of course she is; she's Scully.

I sigh. Time to come clean. "I thought you'd been seeing somebody, and when I heard you say 'I love you' on the phone yesterday, I thought that's who you were talking to. And then I saw him leaving your apartment this morning, and I assumed--"

"You were sitting outside my apartment this morning?"

Oops. Too much information.

I don't try to justify myself but just give her a pitiful smile. Maybe she'll have mercy on me.

"So, you thought I was having dinner with this man, and that I had invited my mother over to meet him?"

Close enough. "Something like that."

"And so the confession was because you were afraid I'd leave the X-Files?"

Either she didn't believe what I said, or she's allowing me a way out. This is my chance, if I want it, to pretend that I didn't really mean it, and to let things go on just as they always have. But is that what I really want? Maybe it would be enough for now, but what about when another guy really does come along and try to steal her away from me?

And what about this guy she's already "committed" to?

I ignore her question and ask my own. "If you're not seeing anybody, then who's this guy that you told Deputy Dan you're involved with?"

"Deputy Dan?"

"You know, the guy who asked you out last week?"

"You mean Sheriff Anderson?"

"Whatever." I still think "Deputy Dan" suits him better.

She's obviously amused with me but answers my question. "What I told *Sheriff Anderson*--who's name is *Don,* by the way, not *Dan*--is that I'm not available. That doesn't mean I'm seeing someone, it just means that I'm not 'on the market,' so to speak."

That's not the way he put it, and right now, I'm inclined to believe him. I finally sit up straight so I can look her in the eye. "He said that you told him you were already committed to somebody."

Now she averts her eyes, so I know I'm not completely off base. "I don't believe those were my exact words, but I can see how he got that impression."


"So, what?"

"So, what did you mean by that?"

I can tell she's not ready to answer me, so whatever she did say to him, it obviously means something significant. "You know, you never answered my question. Did you really mean what you said at my apartment, or were you just saying that to keep me from leaving the X-Files?"

I can't fault her for deflecting since she just called me on doing it myself.

And suddenly I realize there's only one choice. If I let her believe now that I wasn't telling the truth before, how will she ever trust me when I try to say the words again? If I really value the truth above all else, especially in our partnership, then it's time to be true to myself.

"This has nothing to do with the X-Files, Scully. I thought you were in love with someone else, and I couldn't let you go without telling you how I really felt."

What I think I see in her eyes takes my breath away. That hope that I'd lost is beginning to blossom again. And then she looks away.

I hear her take a deep breath before replying. "You know, as wrong as Padgett was about me in many respects, there was also some truth to what he said." She pauses, and I nervously wait to see where she's going with this. "He made me realize that I've been fooling myself. I tried to deny my true feelings, and I tried to tell myself that the reason I haven't been on a date in years is because I'm no longer interested, or because men are no longer interested in me. But it's not true."

She finally turns to look at me, and I catch my breath again as I'm lost in the depths of those baby blues. "The truth is, my heart is no longer mine to give because it already belongs to someone else. That's what I meant when I told the sheriff that I was already committed to someone. That's what I wouldn't admit to myself, but what Padgett forced me to see."

I can still hear his words echoing through my head, plain as day. *Agent Scully is already in love.* But she still hasn't said the words. I told her what I felt, but she hasn't taken the same leap. I have to know.

"Is it me?" My voice seems weak to my own ears, but I'm still afraid of her answer.

But I don't need to be. She smiles and nods, and tries to blink back the tears that are building in her eyes.

So now I'm just sitting here, grinning at her like an idiot, and so she smiles back at me--and I swear it's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. And then her face turns serious, and I start to get worried.

She leans toward me, like she's going to tell me a secret, so I lean closer to accommodate her. I hear her say in a stage whisper: "You're supposed to kiss me now."

And so I do.

* * * * *
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Author's notes: Don't ask me why the title is in French. It just sounded cool.

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