When You Say Nothing At All

By Jeannine Ackerson



Sept. 16, 1996


Rating: PG for a few swear words.

Spoiler warning: Well, just figure that if you've seen up though "Pusher", that this is safe to read.

Disclaimer: The X-Files and the characters portrayed therein are property of C. Carter, Fox Broadcasting, 1013 Prod., etc. "When You Say Nothing At All" by Keith Whitley is also used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.

Relationship: SR Mulder/Scully Romance. Anti-relationshippers warning is hearby in effect. (So if you don't like this kind of stuff, I'd suggest skipping this.)

Summary: Mulder catches Scully singing as she cleans house. The result is, well, "some" people make "some" revelations in three and a half minutes that change a friendship in to a romance.

Hi all! OK, so it's another song story. (But I like them, so sue me) Some of you may remember this song. I slipped the chorus into "Seductive Visions", but I felt it deserved its own story. I've always considered this a M & S song, just for the fact that it could be used in either a romantic or non-romantic way. Anyway, on with our story . . .

Dana Scully had begun flipping channels on her stereo for a few minutes, trying to find something to do her Saturday housecleaning to.

After years of living on her own, she found that having the musical background made her chores go that much faster. And it's more fun to dance while you vacuum, she thought to herself with a little smile. I wonder what Mulder would think if he knew his straight-laced, serious-to-a-fault partner sung and danced with the songs on the radio in the privacy of her home?

Probably declare it an X-File, and accuse her of being a clone, she mentally told herself.

Chuckling at that, She finally settled on a country station, playing their weekend favorites. Satisfied she might know some of the songs, she turned up the volume and headed into the kitchen. As she ran the hot water in the sink, she heard the first notes from the next song. By the time she had the soap in the water and her first plate in hand, the lyrics were starting. And it was a song she knew. Very well in fact.

"It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart

Without saying a word, you can light up the dark

Try as I may I could never explain

What I hear when you don't say a thing"

As she sang along, in a sweet alto, she remembered fondly when she'd first heard the song. She and her partner, Fox Mulder had been on their way to a crime scene during a bizarre murder investigation in El Paso. She'd been driving for a change, and had gotten to pick the radio station. She had remembered Mulder not putting up too much of a fight about her choosing the station. He'd grumbled something sarcastic under his breath about there not being anything else on the radio in Texas except country music.

Then the song had started. It had been a new one to her. And as she listened to it, she found herself realizing that the lyrics could be about her partnership with Mulder. Her mind had begun to spin with the memories and images of the two of them, side by side; professionally and personally. As the best of friends and, . . . what?

She still didn't know, even after all these years.

"The smile on your face lets me know that you need me,

There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me

A touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall

Yeah, you say it best, when you say nothing at all"

Their communication was something beyond partners. It was almost like a psychic connection, if she believed in that. With a single glance, they could pass back and forth information. With a single gesture, their meaning clear: Her arched eyebrow when she thought one of his theories was beyond ludicrous. His lopsided grin when he was teasing her. The hurt puppy-dog look he threw her when he wanted to get his way and make her feel guilty. Her upturned chin and piercing stare that asked him "are you was done yet".

But of all the little gestures, the one that preyed on her mind the most was his hand on her back. That single touch of his fingers lightly pressing against her spine as he guided her somewhere. It was so slight, barely there at times. Yet she hated to admit it, but she liked it. A lot.

As an independent, professional woman, she'd tried to keep their relationship professional. To not notice his gentlemanly manner, his rugged good-looks, how his suits made him look like a model, and his jeans and reading glasses were just too sexy on her "partner". So she'd done the next best thing to ravishing her partner every time she saw him. She buried her feelings so she could keep working with him, being with him. Day after day. For two and a half years.

That was a feat in itself. Her self-control had been taxed to the breaking point a few times. Like when she'd nearly died at the hands of that fetishist's hands. She had fallen gratefully into Mulder's waiting arms that time, not even bothering to think about the consequences of her actions.

Just like she didn't think about procedure when Modell pulled a gun on Mulder. She'd flown into that hospital, searching for her partner. Only to get caught up in a battle of wills with a lunatic. She had watched as Mulder had been coerced into putting a gun to his head, playing a sick game of Russian Roulette at "Pusher's" command. And when he'd pulled the trigger, her heart had skipped a beat. The chamber had been empty, but it had been too close.

Shoving those thoughts aside, she continued to sing, her emotions coloring her tone as she lent her feminine voice as a counterpoint to the male baritone on the radio.

"All day long I can hear people talking out loud

But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd

Old Mr. Webster could never define

What's being said between your heart and mine."

She smiled at that while she took a few extra breaths as just the music played. Her hands still washed the dishes, her eyes focused on a location in space, outside the kitchen window. But the task wasn't upmost on her mind. He was.

Hell, she couldn't even define all the things she felt for him. How could anyone else. She was his friend, confidant, sounding board. She was his "partner". And to her, it might as well be in every sense of the word. Sure, he hadn't come to her bed, been her lover; but their relationship was beyond the physical. It was spiritual.

She stifled a laugh with difficulty. Missy would have looked at her like she'd lost her mind. Her logical, unbelieving sister believing in fate and spiritualism. But she would have had to just tell her the truth. That she believed in *Mulder*. He was her truth. Him and his crazy ideas.

His search for the conspiracies in the government. His quest for his sister. And in believing in him, she had to believe in some of what he believed.

"The smile on your face lets me know that you need me,

There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me

A touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall

Yeah, you say it best, when you say nothing at all."

Her thoughts drifted to his smile. The one that lit up his face and her heart at the same time. She recalled that first, stunning smile she'd received when she'd woken from her coma. For that rare sight, she would have willingly wrenched herself from heaven's glory. Just to be the recipient of that radiant grin. As always, he was there for her, just like she was for him. And through those silent messages, they both knew it.

"The smile on your face lets me know that you need me,

There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me

A touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall

Yeah, you say it best, when you say nothing at all."

As the last line lilted off, she closed her eyes at the feelings still stirred up within her. Ones that had no where to go. The ones that hadn't had anywhere to go for years.

Because she'd said nothing at all.

She had never said the three words she longed to tell him.

She had never let him hear her as she verbalized her feelings for him with this song. He would never know how this one song brought those emotions to the surface. How when she sang it, she couldn't help but put every ounce of love and longing she had for him into every word, every note.

He'd never realize that when she sang this song in her car as she drove alone to work, or by herself at home, anywhere he wasn't, she was really singing it for him. To him.

He would never know how much she loved him, needed him, wanted him.

No. Mulder would never know it.

With that heart wrenching revelation, she let the glass she'd been washing slide out of her grasp to the bottom of the sink. She bowed her head slightly as the tears of frustration and resignation she fought to keep in check threatened to spill.

The only problem with her assumptions was the man standing in her apartment.

The tall, almost lanky looking one who had arrived at the door and knocked lightly, but wasn't heard.

The one with the unruly brown hair who had let himself in with his key when he'd heard the radio on.

The one who had been leaning against the door jam of the kitchen, watching her intently with his hazel eyes as she sung, hearing the tone and pitch of her voice.

And the one who had felt the power and emotion she put into each word punch a hole in the wall around his heart.

Dana Scully would have been safe in thinking that Fox Mulder would never know how she felt, except for the fact that he had heard her.

And within the space of a three and a half minute song, he'd given her his heart. The one that he'd wanted to hand to her on a silver platter for years. But now he was certain she would want it if he gave it to her. This was his chance. And this time, he was going to take it.

"Dana?" he said quietly, knowing she was going to be startled at the sound of his voice, since she didn't know he was there.

As predicted, she jumped slightly, her head swiftly turning towards the voice. When she saw Mulder standing there, arms crossed against his chest, leaning against the door frame to the kitchen, she smiled.

Then she realized he'd called her Dana. And she hadn't heard him come in. . . Oh God, she though, how long has he been here? Did he . . .oh no, he heard me!

Scrambling to cover, Scully pulled her wet hands from the now tepid water. Wiping them on her jeans, she did her best to plaster on an innocent smile as she turned towards him.

"Hi Mulder. I didn't hear you at the door. Did you knock?" she asked curiously, trying to engender some indignity at his barging into her home unannounced. She hoped it would help explain the warm flush of embarrassment coloring her cheeks.

"Yeah, but I'm not surprised you didn't hear me over the music. I never realized you liked your tunes so loud Scully," he bantered back carelessly. He'd wanted to dive straight into asking her about the song, but he decided he'd give her some breathing space. But no way was he leaving here with things the way they had been before he'd walked in. No way in hell.

"So, to what do I owe the honor of your visit?"

"Nothing. I was just in the neighborhood and thought I'd see what was new with you," he commented lightly, then he decided to press her about the song. And her singing. "That was an interesting song that was playing."

"Yeah. It's one of my favorites," she replied, then shut her mouth quickly, suspecting that she'd revealed too much.

The corner of his mouth jerked up a little, giving him that damned lopsided grin that melted her resolve. That and the enticing combination of jeans and black turtleneck he was wearing were enough to cause her to take leave of her good sense.

"I can see why." he said cryptically.

"Oh really?"

When he didn't answer, she started to move back to the dishes, putting her back to him. She was using the physical shift to put some emotional distance between them, she knew. Then suddenly he was right beside her, arms braced on either side of her body against the counter; his head lowered, his mouth near her ear.

"So, what do you think about when you hear that song?" he asked, his tone low as his breath breezed by her ear.

"Lots of things. Memories . . . ," she offered, then wondered if that had been the right thing to say.

"I'm surprised."


"I'd have figured you'd think about what I did."

"Which was?"

"It's us . . . in that song. Our relationship. Our . . . feelings," he said quietly, but punctuated with emotion.

"I guess you mean the part about the silent communication that we have in the field," Scully suggested. She couldn't believe he had seen "them" in the song like she did.

"No. I mean all of it. Except for one fact. Sometimes it's important to put it into words, so the meaning is crystal clear."

As Mulder said that, he hooked a finger under her chin to turn her face towards his. Scared of what she might see there, Scully kept her eyes lowered, even as he tried to catch her line of vision. Finally, she couldn't avoid his gaze any longer, and she raised her eyes to his. And lost her breath.

For what she saw in his soft greyish green eyes was love. Pure and simple. And it shocked, inspired, humbled and awed her all at once. It was the same feelings that she knew he had to see in her gaze as well. With that one look, they communicated in that non-verbal way of theirs the love they felt for each other, the depths of their commitment. And the words were said, vows taken, future decided in that moment. But most of all, they recognized that the feelings and emotions that they had just realized in each other had been there all along. They just had never been seen or spoken.

Coming into each other's embrace of a volition beyond their own separately, their lips met for that first, glorious time. Their bodies pressed tightly to one another, their hearts overflowing and souls merging. Prying their lips apart, they knew the one thing that was left to do.

"I love you Scully," he declared lovingly.

"And I love you Mulder," she replied, just before he pulled her back into his embrace and they kissed again.

And as they continued to kiss, the lyrics sang in their minds.

"The smile on your face lets me know that you need me,

There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me

A touch of your hand says you'll catch me if ever I fall

Yeah, you say it best, when you say nothing at all."

- End -

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