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Scully ponders how she really feels abut Mulder...they have that chat.

From: ephemeral@ephemeralfic.org
Date: 9 Jan 2002 02:13:57 -0000
Subject: We\'ll Talk Later by FoxFireX
Source: direct

Title:  We'll talk later
Author:  FoxfireX
Rating:  PG
Spoilers:  Soft Light....kinda pre and post ep
Summary:  A talk between friends sparks a talk
between partners
Classification:  MSR
Distribution:  Spread me around baby, I'm easy.
Chez Maritou Richmond, Va
"Agent Scully, thanks so much for inviting me to lunch."  Kelly Ryan stood from the table in the restaurant they had chosen as their meeting place.
"Well, it was the least I could do, *Detective* Ryan.
Congratulations."  They shook hands and took their
"So, tell me all about it."  Scully turned to the waiter, "Iced tea, please."  Her attention focused again on the slim brunette seated across from her. Scully had been her instructor for a time at Quantico, before she was posted to the X Files.  She liked Ryan, and she understood what she was up against in this man's world that the young detective had chosen for a career.
"There's not much to tell."  Ryan laughed.  "My parents
are very proud, my father, especially loves to tell people about his 'dauther the Detective'.  My sister still thinks I'm crazy for going into law enforcement and not choosing something safer, like teaching the third grade.  I tell her she has the most perilous job in the world.  Getting shot at is nothing compared to taking on an entire classroom of tiny terrors. The waiter brought Scully's tea, both women leaned back into their chairs.
"I understand.  It's hard sometimes for those around
you to see what you do in the job.  My sister is the
same way, she just wants me to be 'safe' and doesn't
think that FBI field assignments are the way to do it."
Scully loved her sister.  She wished she could have
more lengthy conversations with her.  Sitting at lunch
with Ryan made her keenly feel the absence of feminine
companionship in her life.  Most of her friends had
given up on her, as she no longer took the time to keep
up with anyone outside of her immediate family.  Work
was just too hectic.  That excuse sounded hollow, even
to her own meandering mind. As the salads arrived, Ryan waved her fork in Scully's direction.
"So, tell me about that hunk of a partner of yours." 
Scully coughed on her romaine. 
 "Hunk?  How did you come to the conclusion that he's a hunk?  You've never met."
"Maybe not face to face, but I got the gist.  You said he
was tall, well built, and easy to look at."  Ryan speared
a slice of tomato.  "To me that sounds like a hunk."
"You know, I only tell you this stuff because I don't see you very often, and your chances of meeting my partner are slim.  Yes, he is a hunk.  I don't think there's a woman we come in contact with that doesn't check him out.  The funny part is though,"  she pushed her salad aside, "he doesn't get it.  He has no idea what he does to the opposite sex."
"That in itself is sexy, I think.  So, Agent Scully, does
he ring your bell?"  The grilled chicken arrived, and
both women dove in with relish.
"What a question.  What happened to simple small talk?
We're partners, and that is not how you're supposed to react to your partner."  Scully closed her walls around her, not wanting to let anyone see how she felt about Mulder.  He didn't know, why did anyone else had
the right to such personal knowledge.  She sighed.  Ah, hell, it would feel good to get it off her chest, without recrimination. She sighed and took a deep breath to steady herself.  Here goes nothing. 
 "I can't help noticing how he runs his hands through his hair when he's sitting at his desk, which he hates to do, and musses it up." Scully smiled and took a bite. "Or, the way the gold flecks in his eyes catch the light when he's onto a theory."  She took another drink.
"Sounds interesting." 
"Sometimes, when he's deep on a case, chasing a lead, he
forgets to shave, forgets to eat, forgets to sleep. He takes on this intensity that blows me away. He focuses all this energy in one direction, I swear he is unstoppable when he's like that."
"Must make him good at his job."  Scully snorted lightly. 
"It makes him downright, well, spooky.  He sees things that no one else can.  He has this ability to put himself into someone else's mind, their existence, to uncover their motivation."
"So, does he lose site of your place in the partnership when he gets 'in the zone'?" 
Oh, Kelly told herself.  You are good, girl. You are so very, very good. The interminable Dr. Scully was spilling her proverbial guts over lunch, about a man no less.  Would wonders never cease.  Kelly had always liked Dana Scully, she was smart and tough, but she had a kind side, too. She looked foreword more of these tell all lunches, and hopefully someday soon she would have a man story of her own to share.
"No, actually, he makes me feel like he values my opinion. He told me once that I might not always agree with him, but I respect the journey.  He pushes me to
find my science, as much as I push him to find his truth.  I've never met anyone like him."
"Wow.  That is deep, my friend.  So I guess the only
question left to answer is, nice ass?"  Ryan shot her
a wicked smile. Scully laughed out loud, catching the eye of the other patrons close to them.  She blushed bright
red and felt absolutely foolish and lighthearted at the same time.  She had not felt like this in a long time. She took a deep breath, appearing to consider the question carefully. 
 "Very, very nice ass."
"I knew it!"  Ryan whooped, now garnering frowns
from some of the more staid occupants of the restaurant.
"Well, he runs.  And swims, have any idea what running and swimming do for the male derriere?"
"Yeah, you have it bad, my friend.  So, when are you going to let him in on the secret?" Ryan was finishing her chicken, and moving on to the rice pilaf.  "You know, you can't keep him in the dark forever."
"Who says?"  Scully smirked at her former student.
"Listen, Dana, woman to woman.  What you do is
ultimately up to you, but you should tell him.  You never know, maybe he feels the same way about you."
"I know he cares about me.  I had an...experience where
I was missing for a time, and he busted his ass to find me.  My mother told me how hard it was on him. But, we are not exactly forthright people when it comes to our feelings.  We're both hesitant, I guess, that the Bureau would split us up.  We don't want that if we can help it." 
"I can understand that.  But still, you are taking a
chance that he will get involved with someone else,
in the meantime, you know.  But,"  at the look on
Scully's face, Ryan threw up her hands, "you know
best, I'm sure."  Scully laughed softly, finishing her meal and pushing her plate back. 
"I know best.  Hmm, that's an interesting statement.  I'm never sure when I'm with him if I do know what's best.  He makes me crazy, he makes me sane.  He brings out the best and the worst in me. I can't get him out of my mind when I'm awake, and he invades my dreams when I'm sleeping.  I have never felt this way before, and I can't *believe* I just told you all of this."  Scully moaned and dropped her head into her hand. Ryan laughed. 
 "Hey, you have to talk to someone, or you will explode.  I don't mind, if I had a love life  of my own, I wouldn't press you so hard about yours."
"No romance blooming, I take it?"  The waiter brought
the check, and Scully checked her watch.  She really had to get back. Ryan took her wallet out.
"Not at all.  That's the problem with climbing the proverbial ladder, sometimes you spend too much time looking up to look around."
"You're young.  You have plenty of time to establish
a relationship.  One bit of advise, though?  Find someone
who is NOT in law enforcement."  Scully laughed and
laid her money on the table.
Dana Scully's Apartment
"Thanks for bringing me home, Mulder."  Scully took their coats and motioned for him to sit on the sofa.  Kelly
Ryan's funeral had been hard on her.  She felt responsible
for letting her down, and somehow contributing to her death.
Mulder sat on the sofa, watching her making tea in the kitchen.  Busy work, something to keep her hands occupied.  He knew she felt guilty for Ryan's death.  Guilt was an emotion he was all too familiar with, and he didn't want Scully to bear that burden.
"Scully, it's not your fault.  You tried to warn her to be careful.  It just, happened, sometimes things just happen."  She brought tea in for both of them, and sat next to him on the sofa.
"I know, but, she was so young, Mulder, she had so
much ahead of her.  To be reduced to nothing but
a scorch mark and carbon residue..."  She trailed
off, her voice starting to tremble. Mulder put his arm around her shoulders, letting her rest her head against his chest.  She so rarely let him comfort her, it was a pleasant diversion from her grief and regret.
"Hey Scully, lets have that talk now."  She laughed
lightly through her tears.  "I told you we would talk later.  It looks like later, to me."  Scully sniffed and looked up into his eyes.  They never failed to captivate her.  "What would you like to know, Mulder?"
"What did Detective Ryan hear about me?"  He watched
her moist blue eyes.  Holding his breath waiting for her answer, without realizing it.
"She heard what a crack investigator you are."  There,
that should head him off. 
"That is true.  But.....I don't think that was what she was referring to.  Come on, Scully, what are you afraid of?"
She brought her gaze down to the knot of his tie,
somehow it make it easier to talk to him. 
 "I'm not afraid, Mulder.  I'm just not sure I'm ready to
discuss this with you."
"Oh. Well, if that's how you feel.  I guess I can respect that."  She heard the hurt tone in his voice, and hated herself for falling for it.  She knew he trusted her, and was not understanding why she would keep something from him.  She sighed.  She was going to lose this battle.  She knew it from the time he bent down to look into her eyes in the hotel and said they would talk later.  He had her right where he wanted her, whenever he wanted her, and there was not a damn thing she could do about it. 
"Ok, don't get your feelings hurt, Mulder, I'll tell you.
And, when I've finished telling you, you had better be ready for the consequences."
"I was born ready, Scully."
"Sure, you were.  I told Detective Ryan that I was
attracted to you.  That I think about you every moment of every day.  You challenge me to be a better investigator, a more open minded person and you still manage to make me feel like a woman, and not just a badge.  You treat me as an intellectual equal, you value my opinion and you always feel the need to protect me, even if I don't want you to. I told her that you're brilliant, you're driven, you're dedicated, and you're the sexiest man I have ever known.  There.  Feel better?"  She at least had the pleasure of giving his Windsor knot a firm scowl, there was no way in hell she was going to look into his eyes.
"Actually, Scully, yeah.  I feel better.  I feel better than I have in a long time."  He pulled her legs over his knees, until she was sitting across his lap, tucking her head under his chin. She smiled through her tears, her eyes wide and unseeing. She didn't know how serious he was, but it felt good that he didn't scream and leave his outline in her front door running through it without taking the
time to open it before making his escape.
"Scully, listen to me.  I wouldn't have asked if I didn't want to hear the answer, if I hadn't been hoping to hear the answer you gave me."  She tilted her head back to look at him, giving him a small smile but remaining silent. "Really, Scully, I'm not trying to sound as if I am
second guessing you, but I can't deny that I was waiting for the opportunity to have this discussion."
"This discussion?"
"You and I both knew this was coming."
"Mulder, I never meant for this to happen.  How cliche is this anyway, falling in love with your partner."
"I don't have the statistics."
"Shut up, Mulder, you know what I mean.  What are we going to have to endure at work?"
"Everyone in the bureau already assumes we're involved anyway.  They figure that is the only reason you stay with me in the basement.  You could have gotten out before now, you know. But you stayed.  To everyone else, they think you have to be in love with me or you would have moved the hell out by now."
"That did not influence my decision to turn down a transfer.  I would have loved you no matter where I was assigned." He pulled back to look her in the eyes.
"You were offered a transfer?"
"Um, yeah.  Not long after we got back from Delta Glen. I was asked to consider it.  I did, and I gave them my decision when we returned from Worcester."  Her tears dried.  The conviction was back in her voice.
"You didn't tell me."  His eyes bored into hers, focused and intense.
"No, I didn't tell you, Mulder.  I knew it would put us on edge, and you would feel it your duty to encourage me to accept the transfer.  I didn't want any influence by you
on my decision.  That way, if I decided to stay it would be on my own terms, and for my own reasons, and if I left, it would be because I felt like it was best for me."
"You stayed."  His lips descended toward hers.
"I will always stay."  She whispered, as his mouth touched hers for the first time.


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