Questionable Logic Part II

By Jeannine Ackerson

 

Dec 7, 1996

 

Rating: PG for the use of swear words.

Spoiler warning: A very minor 4th season one for Tunguska/Terma, and one for Irresistible.

Disclaimer: The X-Files as well as the characters portrayed therein are property of C. Carter, Fox Broadcasting, 1013 Prod., and most importantly: they don't belong to me. (I'm not making any $$ here FOX, so I don't have anything for you to sue me for.)

Relationship: VRA. Scully ANGST!, plus lots of UST. Anti-relationshippers should avoid this. I won't be held responsible if you read it. :-)

Summary: Scully ponders her association with Mulder and the X-Files.

Hi there! Alright, alright enough already! I haven't had so much mail in my inbox about a story since "Visions" posted. Anyway, here it is, Scully's chance to muse about her partner, and get some things out into the open for herself. One more scene follows this that should tie up all the loose ends. :-) Now, to the story . . .

I sat in front of my television, not paying attention to the ten o'clock movie that was half over, or to the nearly empty pint of chocolate fudge ice cream I had been eating that rested in front of me on the coffee table. My mind was too busy racing around for me to get into the contrived plot of the show.

For some reason I'd started wondering about how I'd ended up as Special Agent Dana Scully, assigned to the X-Files, and partnered with Fox Mulder.

At the thought of him, my memory of the day kicked in with a vengeance. I'd been staring at the computer screen at the office, trying to put together the notes for the Michaelson autopsy. Suddenly I'd noticed the clock in the bottom corner of my computer screen reading 6:00 p.m. I'd worked an hour past quitting time, and I hadn't even realized it.

Without another thought, I had saved the notes and turned off the computer. They'd be there when I came back. With a tired, inaudible sigh I'd forced myself up out of the chair and gathered up my things.

It was then that I had felt it. Or more appropriately I felt him, his gaze, and I turned towards my partner sitting behind his desk. I asked him if he was leaving soon and he told me he'd follow me out in a minute. I gave him a look, one that told him that I didn't believe him, but I didn't press him. I just wasn't in the mood to question him about it. Then I turned and left. I came home, treated myself to a long, hot bath, a somewhat tasty microwave dinner and some mindless cable television.

I shouldn't have left him behind without another word. Hell, I hadn't even said good night to him. But when he got like this, I know there's not much I can do but let him wallow in his feelings, like I'd done tonight. I really should have said something to him, confronted him on what was bothering him, yet I hadn't.

<You should have stayed.>

At that small thought from my subconscious, I felt the breath expel from my lungs in a great rush. I didn't want to think about that. For just one night, I didn't want to think about, much less worry about my partner, Fox Mulder.

<Like that's going to happen.>

True, but a girl can try. But I knew it was too late. Much too late.

I wondered if I had been wrong in believing that he'd needed the time alone, then dismissed it. No, I know him well enough by now to recognize when he wants to work out something on his own. And I really hadn't wanted to get tangled up in the emotions a confrontation would have generated.

<He could have used a friendly ear.>

If he had, he would have asked. Just like I would have. Besides, he a big boy, he can take care of himself. Just like I can.

<Would it kill you to drop those walls just once?>

I can't do that. They're what protects me. Makes me able to do my job.

<You don't have them up for the job. You have them up because of him.>

That's not true. I have them there so I can be professional. If I let them down, I don't know if I could put them back up again.

<You've let them down before, remember? And you pulled them back up.>

I remembered it, remembered being in Mulder's arms right after Pfaster had almost killed me. I had let my guard down, let my control slip. Just for a little. Because I didn't have any other choice.

<And he was there for you when you did, wasn't he? He didn't even say anything to you afterward either.>

What was he going to say? That I was unfit for the job? That's a laugh. He's worse off than I am. Obsessed with finding the truth, buried in his job, few friends that can't be called "extremely" paranoid, emotionally scared by his parents and by his past relationships. He's a walking emotional wreck.

<At least *he* has a social life.>

I grimaced at. Ok, so my exciting plans for the upcoming weekend included cleaning my gun and seeing my mom. Big deal. At least it was something.

Then without warning the roll call of women in Mulder's life marched through my head. The fact that I could recall each and every one of them sent a pang of resentment through me. I didn't think that it had really bothered me *this* much, seeing him flaunt all these women in front of me while we'd worked together. Obviously I was wrong.

Bimbos' of the week don't count.

<You know, you could be doing the same thing if you wanted to. Pendrell and half the male population of the Bureau would be more than willing to help you end your self-imposed celibacy.>

I don't know what you mean. Just because I haven't had a date for a while hardly means I'm *that* desperate.

<So . . . you're just hiding emotionally. To avoid your *real* feelings.>

What's to avoid, I just haven't met the right man.

<Are you sure about that? Or is it just that the right man is right beside you and you can't admit it?>

I tried not to think about it. That was the only way I could handle that idea. It was too disturbing otherwise, too close to the . . .

<Come on, you can say it. You're in love with a man who would die to protect you. Who'd give you whatever you asked for. One who trusts you more than anyone. The one who can invade your thoughts, your heart, your soul at any given time.>

No I'm not! He's my partner. We have a special bond. But . . . I can't think things like that about my partner.

<Why?>

Because of the Bureau. There's no way they'd let me be involved with him and not transfer me. And the Consortium would use it against me, against us. It's not a smart move no matter how you look at it.

<How's that? It's pretty obvious that you'd go to the ends of the earth for him, lie to your bosses and to the Congress of the United States to protect him. Your biggest fear is something happening to the other, and They already know that. What's stopping you from just admitting that you love him?>

I couldn't think of a reason. I sat there on the couch and thought about it, and I couldn't think of a good enough reason not to say that I wanted my partner, my best friend. That I was in love with him.

"Oh God . . ."

I felt the blood rush from my face, and the sensation of ice run up my back along my spine at that thought. Shock sort of does that to a person. The next thing I realized I was cradling my head in my hands, leaning on my knees.

Alright, so I love him. Are you satisfied? Now that I've admitted it to myself, I get to deal with the fact that he doesn't love me. Damn it, why did I have to fall in love with him. Now that I'd finally accepted the truth, I had opened myself up for the pain I knew was to follow.

<He's not going to hurt you. He loves you as much as you love him.>

I tried not to laugh, and only succeeded in strangling a chuckling sound in my throat. He loves Bambi's and Phoebe's and Kristen's but not Dana's. Hell, I'm not even "Dana" to him. I'm *Scully*, his partner. The ever skeptical, haul his ass out of hot water, ditch when he gets a hot lead Scully.

"Damn that man! *Every* woman but me!"

I slammed my fist into the couch cushions, feeling the stuffing give as I connected. With that outburst I felt a little of the anger I was feeling drain away. I just couldn't understand him. Why did he insist on searching elsewhere for something that had been right in front of his face.

<Don't you get it? He can't *let* you get *that* close.>

Why? He says I'm the only one he trusts, but obviously not enough to trust with his heart, his emotions. Hell, he doesn't even trust me with calling him by his first name!

<Maybe if you had tried calling him Fox again . . .>

So I could get my head bitten off? No thank you. I respected him enough to honor that request. Besides, he told me that he didn't even let his parents call him Fox, so why should he let *me* to call him that?

<You know, maybe he was too scared to let you call him that. Did you ever consider that? Maybe he just couldn't expose *all* of himself to you, because he's afraid of you hurting him, like all the other people he's ever loved.>

But I'd never . . . Yet I could understand that. After everything he'd been through, he would take steps to protect his heart. Sure, he'd let the other women call him by his first name, but they'd never gotten as close to him as I have. There are times I think I know him better than I know myself. If he was protecting himself . . .

<He'd try and keep a part of himself from you. And in this case, his first name is just too intimate, too much for his partner to call him by. A partner who knows him inside and out.>

Suddenly it all made sense, in a Mulderesque sort of way. But surely, after all this time, if he was at *all* interested in me, wouldn't he have said something, done something about it?

<He has you idiot! What do you think those times he put his hand to your back, or on your cheek were about? Or when he searched for you when you were abducted. Then sat at your bedside giving you the strength of his beliefs. The times he'd leave you behind because he didn't want to expose you to the danger he knew he was walking into. What more do you expect?>

I didn't have an answer for that, so I sat there and thought about it. I knew he wasn't a hearts and flowers kind of man. His parents certainly wouldn't have brought him up like that. He showed his emotions sparingly, and I had to admit that he had always let me know that he was concerned about and cared for me. Even relied on me. But that hardly meant that he was in love with me.

<What more do you want? Him to come riding in on a white horse, declaring his love for you?>

No, I'm not into the showy stuff. I'm just too practical for that. But if he'd just say something, give me a little sign of how he really feels, maybe . . .

<Maybe what? That *you'd* take the initiative? Take a risk? The pragmatic Dr. Scully would tell her erstwhile partner that she loved him as more than just a friend?>

I don't know! I don't know. Maybe, if I thought that he felt something more than friendship for me . . . But if I did say something and he didn't love me that way, he'd want me to transfer out of the X-Files. Then They would be able to destroy him. He needs me too much as his partner for me to gamble with our working relationship in the hopes of having something more with him.

<You never know. Besides, he just might surprise you, just like always.>

I nearly laughed aloud at that thought. Yes, Mulder had a way of continually shocking the hell out of me. But the one thing that probably would come as the biggest surprise to me would be if he actually was in love with me.

<This calls for some investigation Agent Scully. Perhaps you should examine the evidence and cross-examine the suspect in question.>

What, just come out and ask him? What should I do, go to the office and blurt it out? Ask him to come by tomorrow night for pizza and tell him then? Ask him on a real honest-to-God date, so he knows I'm interested? That's crazy!

<You could always call him up now and ask him to come over.>

I couldn't believe what I was suggesting to myself. Here I was, sitting in my sweats and a t-shirt, and I was contemplating calling my partner to come over so I could inform him that I'm in love with him. Then I noticed my hand had reached for the portable phone I had laying on the table. Quickly I got a hold of myself, and jerked it back. Where had my good sense gone?

<Out the window when it comes to Fox Mulder.>

I shook my head tiredly as I headed towards the kitchen to start some coffee. I knew I wasn't going to get any sleep for a while, and I might as well have something to drink that would be a good excuse for my staying awake for a while. I pulled out the coffee and noticed the clock on the wall read 11:50 p.m. I was in shock. The night was almost gone, but I felt a sense of accomplishment. I'd finally acknowledged and accepted my feelings for Mulder.

Leaving the coffee brewing in the kitchen, I went and sat down on the couch and picked up a book, hoping it might catch my frayed attention. But somehow I knew it wouldn't.

I knew now that I had to tell him. If I tried to look him in the eye and lie to him about this, I knew he would know. And just thinking about seeing him again, those hazel eyes, the dark, unruly hair . . . I couldn't not want him. How had I gone this long without admitting it to myself, to him?

<Fear makes you stupid.>

I have to tell him. But when?

<Don't worry about it now. You can worry about it tomorrow.>

For the first time, my mind seemed to be easing up on me. Maybe it had finally decided I was going to do something about this. Perhaps it was right. In the morning I could get a better perspective on the whole thing. Tomorrow the whole thing would make sense, I'd know what I wanted to do. I'd worry about it tomorrow.

Hell, I thought, it was almost tomorrow already.

-End-

GO TO PART 3

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