By Katie Phillips
Disclaimer Info: I know they don't belong to me and I appreciate CC letting Scully go out for the evening. Rating: PG-13 No sex happens in this story, but it is discussed Keywords: MSR, Humor
Spoilers: Triangle, but only a little
Archive: Sure, why not. Just let me know where. Feedback: It makes me very happy. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summary: Scully's friend Ellen prompts Scully, with the help of a few margaritas, to confront Mulder about his feelings for her.
Special thanks to Sallie who helped this become a better story.
Dedication: This story is dedicated to anyone who has had one (or two) too many and made a bit of a fool out of themselves.
Dana Scully nibbled on a nacho as she listened to her friend Ellen gently interrogate her about her partner. While Scully rarely shared her personal feelings on anything, let alone Mulder, with Ellen she was different. They had known each other forever, and they kept very little from each other. Ellen had just moved back into the DC area and was dying to catch up.
"Dana." Ellen sucked a large glop of sour cream off her finger. "Have you and Mulder made it official yet?"
Scully looked at Ellen over the top of her margarita glass, eyebrows raised. "Official? What are you talking about?"
Ellen took a sip of her own drink and looked at Scully suspiciously. "You two aren't still in the closet, are you?" Scully put down her drink and gave Ellen a baffled look. "Let me put it simply Dana, since you seem to be playing dumb tonight. Have you and Mulder let people in on the fact that you're seeing each other?"
Finally understanding, Scully shook her head and smiled at her friend. "Ellen, Mulder and I aren't involved like that. We're just partners, nothing more. What made you think we were seeing each other?"
Ellen put her head back and roared with laughter, causing the people at the next table to glance over at her. "Oh Dana, that's priceless! You don't have to keep up the professional image with me. I'm your best friend. God, I know all your best secrets. You can't fool me."
Scully, who was chewing on a large bite of nachos, shook her head. "I'm telling you the truth Ellen," she said with her mouth still partially full. "There's nothing between us. Really."
Ellen gave Scully a long hard look as if to appraise the validity of her statement. "Dana Scully are you trying to tell me that there is nothing romantic going on between you and Fox Mulder?" Scully took another bite of nachos and nodded her head. "Nothing between you and the man who spent God only knows how much of his own money to travel all the way to Antarctica to save your life? Are you really telling me that he has never mentioned how he feels about you?"
Scully began to shake her head but stopped mid-shake. "Well, there was that time after he almost drowned." She stared off into space as if trying to visualize the scene.
"Go on." Ellen prodded her.
Scully took another drink of her margarita before speaking. "He was investigating what he referred to as a 'ghost ship,' and he almost drowned. He was still in the hospital and after he told me about what had happened on the ship--remind me to tell you about that later--he said. . . "
"Don't stop now Dana." Ellen signaled to the waiter to bring another round. The night was getting more interesting by the minute. "Tell me what he said."
"He said 'I love you Scully.'"
Ellen was surprised at the hint of disappointment in Scully's voice. "Dana, that's wonderful. What did you say to him?"
Scully was staring at the plate of nachos as if it was the most interesting thing in the world. "Oh brother!"
"Don't 'Oh brother!' me, Dana Scully. Tell me exactly what you said and how you said it, and what Mulder said back to you."
Scully snorted and finally looked up from the plate of nachos. "You misunderstood me Ellen. I said 'Oh brother!' to him. He was pretty heavily drugged at the time, so I figured. . . ."
"I can't believe you Dana. After all these years, he finally says it and you put him down." Ellen shoved more nachos into her mouth, but kept talking. "I guess the real question here is whether or not he meant it. If he did, he was probably waiting for some sort of sign from you . . ."
Scully stopped her by grabbing her hand. "Ellen, what makes you think he meant it? That he even knew what he was saying?"
Ellen smiled and shook her head. "Dana, have you ever noticed the way he looks at you when he thinks no one is paying attention?"
"Pretty much the same way you look at him."
"And how exactly do I look at him?"
"You have that 'eyes of love' look, like he's the most important person in the universe."
"Oh." Scully didn't know what to say. How could she have been so clueless?
"Drink up my dear. You'll need your courage tonight."
"Why?" Scully was starting to feel nervous.
"We're going to have one more drink, or maybe two, and then I'm going to drop you off at Mulder's apartment. You have to find out how he feels about you."
"What if he doesn't feel the way you think he does?" Scully clutched at the margarita the waiter presented to her.
"That's simple, you just apologize like crazy for being 'so drunk' when you showed up at his apartment. You can blame it all on the booze."
Scully looked at her friend with grudging admiration. "You're one devious woman Ellen. We'd better make the last drink a double."
Fox Mulder wandered around his apartment aimlessly dribbling his basketball, trying desperately to think of something to do. Most Fridays he managed to come up with some sort of excuse to visit Scully at her apartment, but tonight she was out with her friend Ellen.
He felt bad for himself but glad for Scully. She hardly ever got to socialize. Her work on the X-files had disrupted or severed the relationships she'd had with most of her friends. The only person he knew she kept in constant contact with was Ellen. Even when Ellen and her family had moved temporarily to California, he knew that Scully called her at least every other week.
Mulder had met Ellen on several occasions and liked her very much. When she was around, Scully seemed to take life less seriously. So much so, that the last time Ellen visited, it had taken Scully a full forty-eight hours to get over her hangover.
Mulder threw his basketball into the corner and plopped himself on the couch. He picked up the remote and began surfing through the channels. He had gone through all 121 channels twice, finding nothing to interest him, when he finally broke down and flipped over to the Skin channel. He leaned back and sighed as he watched the two women on the screen begin to peel the clothes off the man sandwiched between them. It wasn't as much fun as hanging out with Scully, but it beat the hell out of watching C-SPAN all night. XXX
Mulder jerked awake at the sound of knocking on his door. He glanced at his watch and was surprised to see it was only 10:30 PM. He got up, turned off the TV and stretched, before heading for the door. He was a bit surprised that the sight of two women going down on the man on his TV screen hadn't been stimulating enough to keep him awake.
Mulder looked through the peephole and saw a slightly swaying Scully. He took a deep breath as he opened the door, thinking that only bad news could have dragged Scully away from her friend and to his doorstep.
She staggered past him into the living room. When she turned to face him she promptly fell off one of her shoes. Looking totally annoyed she bent over and pulled them both off, flinging them over her shoulder in the process. One landed on Mulder's desk and the other bounced off his fish tank. "I hate being short Mulder!" She walked up to Mulder and tilted her head way back so she could see his face. "And I really hate having to wear heels all the time. Do you have any idea what a pain in the neck it is to have to wear them every single day of your life just so people don't think that you are as short as you are?"
Mulder didn't speak but shook his head in response to the question. He had only seen Scully drunk once before and was very interested to find out why she had come to him in this condition. "How much did you have to drink Scully?" he asked, fighting the urge to still her swaying body.
Scully snorted but stopped to think before answering. "Two beers and one. . .no, two. . .no, three margaritas." She smiled up at Mulder trying hard to focus on his face. Ellen was right, he was really good looking. She leaned a bit closer to him and whispered "We talked about you Mulder. Ellen thinks you're hot."
Scully swayed a bit more and Mulder reached out to steady her. "Maybe you should sit down Scully."
"Okey dokey." Scully allowed Mulder to lead her to the couch and sat when he gave her a tiny push down. "Don't suppose you have anything to drink here Mulder."
"Sure, I'll make some coffee." Mulder turned and began to head for the kitchen.
"No Mulder! No coffee yet!" Scully said a bit too loudly. "I don't want coffee yet. If I do, I won't be able to ask you." This comment fascinated Mulder almost as much as it worried him. What could possibly make Scully so uncomfortable that she had to get drunk to talk to him about it?
Mulder started the coffee before pulling two beers out of the fridge. He fought the urge to let his imagination run wild, forcing himself to wait to see what Scully had to say. He grabbed a bottle opener and headed for the living room, stopping abruptly when he realized that Scully had flipped on the television and was watching it intently.
Mulder stood between his partner and the TV set, laughing as Scully leaned over, trying to see around him. "Move Mulder, I want to see whether or not she sleeps with him." Mulder put down the beers and sat down beside her, taking the remote from her hand.
Scully moaned with disappointment, as Mulder pushed the 'off' button. "I'll tell you a little secret Scully. She has sex with him several times."
"Glad someone is getting it tonight." Scully mumbled before leaning back. She gave Mulder a sidewise glance and a smile slowly spread across her face.
"What?" Mulder asked, thoroughly enjoying this brand-new side of Scully.
"I was thinking about what Ellen said. She's right you know, you are hot."
Mulder managed to keep his voice serious, stifling a laugh. "Thanks, Scully."
"You are more than welcome Mulder. I do have a question though, Mulder." He raised his eyebrows encouraging her to continue. "Being as hot as you are, you could have any woman in the Bureau. Hell, you could have probably any woman at all." "Why bother with that," she waved a hand at the television. "when you can get the real thing any time you want?"
Mulder paused before answering. He wanted to make sure he got it right. One wrong word and Scully could be out the door and in a cab on her way home. "Did you ever stop to think that I don't want just any woman?"
Scully looked at him shocked. "Oh my God Mulder, are you gay? You could have told me, I would have understood. Some of my best friends are . . ."
Mulder silenced her by placing a finger on her lips. "I think I should have stated my position a little more clearly Scully." He removed his fingers and waited until he saw her eyes focus in on him. "First, for the record, I am not now, nor have I ever been, gay."
"Thank God!" Scully sighed, swaying as she leaned over to pick up her beer. Mulder found her response curious but chose not to pursue it, at least not now.
He took the beer from her hand, forcing her to look at him again. "Second of all Scully, the reason I don't go picking up women to satisfy my male urges, is because I don't want to."
"Why not, don't you like sex?" Scully looked at him puzzled.
Mulder stifled another chuckle. "I love sex Scully. In fact, there are few things in life I like better. I don't want to because I don't think it's right."
"Oh, you're against premarital sex. That is disappointing, Mulder."
"Scully, I'm not against premarital sex. If I was, how would I know that I liked it so much?"
"Oooh, good point."
"Thank you Scully. I don't think it is right to sleep with one woman when you are in love with another."
"Mulder, you're confused. I'm not in love with another woman. I'm not even gay."
Mulder chose to ignore the mental image that had just popped into his head. "I know you aren't gay Scully, I was speaking more hypothetically."
"Oh, Okay. Let's see if I have this straight. . .no pun intended. You love sex, which is great, especially since I think you would be the kind of man who actually makes sure a woman enjoys herself. ." She stopped then, having totally lost her train of thought.
Mulder, who was enjoying the conversation immensely, leaned closer to Scully so his lips were close to her ear. "I always make sure the woman enjoys herself."
Scully turned until their lips were almost touching, their eyes locking. "You do?"
Mulder leaned even closer. "I do."
Mulder's lips had almost reached their destination when Scully gave him a gentle shove. "I gotta pee Mulder." She wiggled off the couch and hurried into the bathroom, surprising Mulder with how much grace she still possessed. He scolded himself for almost kissing her. There were rules about taking advantage of a drunk woman, and Mulder knew he was on the verge of breaking every single one of them.
Scully returned a minute later and plopped herself back on the couch, turning once again towards Mulder, and crossing her legs Native American style. She looked much younger and absolutely adorable.
"Where were we Mulder?" Scully became silent as she tried to remember. Mulder hoped that she had forgotten that he was about to kiss her. "Oh yeah, you had just told me how much you liked sex and that you were waiting for someone special."
Mulder nodded, relieved that she had forgotten about the near-kiss. Scully grabbed the remote and clicked the TV on. Within seconds they were witnessing a dark-haired man ravaging a blonde with his mouth. "How can you watch this stuff Mulder? She's not even a real blonde."
Mulder glanced at the set and then at her partner. "How do you know that Scully?"
Scully looked at him like he was an idiot. "The hair on her head doesn't match the hair, um, elsewhere." She looked back at the TV, tilting her head as if trying to get a better look at what the man was doing. "I'm a real redhead. You know that, don't you Mulder?"
Mulder answered her quickly, afraid Scully would try to prove her point. "Yeah Scully. Everything about you is real."
"Damn right!" Scully said, looking back at the TV. "I guess I can see some of the appeal of these movies." She sounded almost like her normal self, analyzing a piece of evidence Mulder had presented to her. "It does make me feel . . ."
Mulder grabbed the remote and snapped off the TV. Scully began to pout, when he tossed the controller across the room. "Come on Mulder, don't you want to watch porn with me?"
"Maybe some other time, Scully." Mulder was trying desperately to regain control of the evening, and his partner.
"Promises, promises." Scully frowned when she realized that she had finished her beer. She shook the bottle for a minute as if by doing so, it would magically be refilled. She looked at Mulder who shook his head. "Spoil sport." She put the bottle down and leaned sideways so her head rested on the sofa cushion.
"You still love her, don't you Mulder?"
"They have plenty of crop circles in England, Mulder. They would keep you busy for awhile until you get a job at Scotland Yard."
Mulder had been able to follow most of Scully's rambling conversation, but was now totally confused.
"What are you talking about Scully?"
"I'll take care of the X-files for you Mulder. The Gunmen can help me."
"Why would I leave the X-files?"
"To be with her, silly. The woman you love."
Mulder took a minute to process everything Scully had said. "Are you talking about Phoebe?"
"Of course I'm talking about Phoebe. Mulder you are such an idiot sometimes. You know you still love her."
Mulder leaned over and grabbed Scully by both shoulders forcing her to sit up. "Look at me, Scully." He voice was loud enough that she felt compelled to comply. His eyes were darker than normal, and burned with a subtle anger. "I am only going to say this once and I want you to believe me."
"I want to believe, Mulder." Scully tried to keep herself focused. "Unless you're talking about aliens. I'm not quite sure I will ever totally believe in aliens."
Mulder clamped his hand over her mouth. "Scully, I'm not in love with Phoebe Green, and I have not been in love with her for a long time. I'm not sure I ever was really in love with Phoebe anyway. Our relationship was pretty much only physical." He removed his hand from her mouth.
"Got it Mulder. You don't love her but you did love having premarital sex with her."
Mulder sighed with frustration. Part of him wanted to bring Scully back to her apartment and see her tucked safely into bed. The other part of him sensed an opportunity to nudge their relationship along a bit. He would have to be careful though, very careful. Scully leaned toward Mulder slightly, and whispered in his ear. "I'm glad you're not in love with her, Mulder."
She leaned back a bit too fast, and ended up lying on her back staring at the ceiling. This time Mulder didn't bother to stifle his laugh, as he bent over, grabbed Scully's hand, and tugged her back to a sitting position. She smiled at him briefly, but her smile was quickly replaced by a frown.
"You don't think I am pretty, do you Mulder?"
Mulder was a bit taken back by the question, but it suddenly dawned on him what Scully had been trying to say all evening. "No, I don't Scully."
Scully sighed deeply, her shoulders slumped in defeat. She had her answer.
Mulder put one finger under her chin and lifted it until her eyes met his. It broke his heart to see the sadness there. "I don't think you're pretty Scully. I think you're the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." He watched her face closely as she absorbed his words. The frown was replaced by a smile, which was then quickly replaced by a look of confusion.
"I wasn't sure you meant what you said when you said it. You were pretty drugged up at the time Mulder. Even so, I probably should have told you right then and there how I felt, instead of pretending I didn't believe you."
Once again Mulder had no clue what Scully was talking about, and watched her closely as she got up from the couch and began to wobble unsteadily back and forth across the room. Scully often paced when she was trying to figure something out, and Mulder found it interesting that she did the same thing even when she was drunk.
"If you really meant what you said, then why haven't you done something about it?" Scully stared at him intently. "All this time and nothing. Nothing at all." Having finished her little speech she stumbled over to the wall and leaned her forehead against it. "At least I know where I stand now. Could you call me a cab please? I think I want to go home."
Mulder got up and walked over to her. Placing one hand on either side of her face, he leaned in and held her head still, so he had her complete attention. "Where was I when I said whatever it is you're talking about to you Scully?"
Scully released a rather unladylike snort. "What happened to that photographic memory of yours Mulder? You were in the hospital, you had just been pulled out of the ocean."
Mulder smiled. Finally something that made sense. Scully, in a very round-about way, was asking him about the time he had told her that he loved her. Mulder tightened his grip on her shoulders, and peered at Scully intently. She was swaying a bit more now. "What is it that you came here to ask me, Scully?"
She looked up at him and saw only tenderness in his eyes. Tenderness and something else, although she was too fuzzy to recognize exactly what it was. Scully felt herself getting dizzier by the minute. "Did you mean it Mulder?"
Mulder had opened his mouth to answer, when he saw Scully's eyes roll back in her head. He caught her as she slumped forward, and lifted her limp body with ease. He carried Scully into his room, and lowered her gently to his bed. Mulder bent to kiss her forehead, and covered her with a light blanket. "Sweet dreams, Scully."
Scully opened her eyes a crack and the slight light in the room caused her to shut them immediately. She tried again, and this time was able to keep them open. Thankfully the room was shrouded in darkness. The blinds over the windows had been drawn so only small streaks of light were able to get in.
As she slowly gathered her wits, Scully realized that she had absolutely no idea where she was, or how she had gotten there. She closed her eyes again, willing her head to stop pounding long enough for her to remember. Slowly her memory returned.
Drinks with Ellen. Lots of drinks with Ellen. What then? She vaguely remembered discussing Mulder with Ellen at great length, and then getting into a cab and heading over to his apartment. She opened her eyes with a start and looked around her. She was lying in Mulder's bed. She took a deep breath and lifted up the covers. She sighed in relief when she saw that only her shoes had been removed.
"Oh no!" Scully sat up quickly, causing her head to spin, as she remembered not only how she had removed her shoes, but pretty much everything else that had happened the night before. She leaned back against the pillows hoping against hope that she hadn't totally destroyed all of Mulder's respect for her.
Mulder must have heard her, for the bedroom door opened and he walked in carrying a tray holding a large glass of water, aspirin and most importantly, two cups of coffee. He put down the tray and handed Scully the glass of water and two aspirin tablets. "Here Scully, before you say anything, take these." When she'd swallowed the pain reliever, he passed her a cup of coffee. He picked up the other one and motioned to the bed. "May I?" Scully nodded, not able to meet his eyes.
"How are you feeling Sleepy Head?" Scully looked up at him and saw nothing but affection in his eyes. "Do you realize it is almost noon?"
Scully shook her head and closed her eyes, savoring the coffee she was sipping. She opened her eyes and found Mulder watching her intently. No doubt he was wondering how much she remembered. "Thanks Mulder." She said it under her breath. She didn't particularly want to discuss the night before but knew that she couldn't avoid it for long.
"If you're wondering Mulder, I think I remember everything, only I'm hoping that I wasn't as big a fool as I think I was."
"You're very cute Scully, when you've had too much to drink. You should go out on the town more often." He tucked a piece of hair behind her ear, wondering if now would be the right time to clarify things.
"Mulder, did I really ask you if you liked sex?" Scully could feel a blush creep across her face, and she couldn't quite bring herself to look at him.
"Yes you did. You also seemed to be quite happy to find out that I did."
Scully's blush grew a deeper shade of red. "Did I ramble on about the night we pulled you out of the ocean?" She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. He looked more amused than annoyed. She didn't ask anything else, continuing to sip her coffee and stare at a small speck on the bed.
"You did ask me something about that, you know. Right before you passed out."
Scully looked up at him and smiled weakly. "I guess I missed your answer." She put the coffee cup back on the tray and positioned herself so she was leaning against the headboard. She wasn't sure what his answer had been, but knew that she had to find out eventually.
Mulder saw Scully steel herself in preparation for his answer, and immediately felt sorry for her. He put down his coffee cup and climbed up farther on the bed so he sat beside her. He leaned his head back against the headboard and looked at her. "We watched porn together, Scully."
"We did?" That particular memory had evaded her. "Oh we did." Scully suddenly remembered the sight of the man having oral sex with a woman, and cringed. Mulder saw her expression and gave her a gentle poke in the ribs with his elbow. "Last night you said porn turned you on. I thought you were going to ask to borrow my private collection. Unless you rather to watch it with me. . ."
Scully chuckled. She knew Mulder was trying to lighten the mood. She appreciated his effort but couldn't stand not knowing any longer. She turned and looked directly at him. "What did I ask you Mulder?"
He looked at her with such intensity that it almost took her breath away. His eyes seemed to be smoldering with emotion. "You asked me if I meant it." His eyes held hers, daring her to look away.
Scully saw the challenge in Mulder's eyes, and didn't flinch. "Did you Mulder? Did you mean it?"
His eyes softened immediately and he reached over and stroked her face tenderly. "Yeah Scully, I meant it." He leaned over and kissed her lightly on her forehead. "I plan to start proving it to you as soon as you feel up to it."
Scully smiled and scrambled out of bed, the pain in her head notwithstanding. "Where are you going?" Mulder asked, amazed that Scully could even move.
"Stay right there Mulder. I'm going to find more aspirin."
End of story
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