The Library 1/1

by Erin M. Blair

TITLE: The Library
AUTHOR: Erin M. Blair
CLASSIFICATION/CATEGORY: SRA---Story, Romance, Angst. CONTENT: Mulder/Scully UST
Gossamer, Ephemeral, After the Fact, etc. AWARD ELIGIBILITY: Spookys 2004
SPOILERS: Conduit. However, there's a spoiler from The End. SETTING: Season One
DATE: This story was started on March 10, 2004. Written and revised on May 23, 2004. Final draft on July 7, 2004. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks to Jen for beta reading this for me.
DISCLAIMER: Mulder and Scully belongs to Chris Carter. SUMMARY: Scully finds Mulder in the library. She discovers so much more.

After the harrowing case, the emotions surrounding Ruby's abduction touched me in a way that I never thought possible. From observing Mulder throughout the entire case, I could see how closely he identified with the young boy. I knew Mulder was thinking that the boy could be him when he was younger, watching his sister being abducted. The emotions stemming from Samantha's abduction have plagued him to this day.

It was about nine in the morning when I went to the library to see if I could find the new book that I wanted. I always enjoyed reading when I was a little girl. The library always made me feel like a kid again, nurtured my imagination, led by a seductive grin on my face.

As I roamed the aisles to look for the book that I wanted, I thought of this gentle, peaceful feeling that overwhelmed me. I searched for the new Stephen King book that I wanted to read for the weekend, to no avail. I went down each aisle, feeling like I was working on an X-File case with Mulder. I keep coming up empty as I went down aisle by aisle. It almost felt like I was on some kind of goose chase as I kept searching for the book. I was browsing the fiction books when I saw Mulder sitting at a table. He was hunched over in a chair, using his calculator and looking over at some sheets of paper that I assumed were math calculations. He was fingering the smooth buttons with a careful hand. I wondered what possessed him to come to the library that morning. I walked over and I leaned over to greet him. My voice was low enough for only him to hear me. "Mulder? What are you doing here on a Saturday morning?"

Mulder turned around to face me. He spoke in a hushed tone because the other people around us needed their quiet. "One of my neighbors thought it would be great to put his music up so loud that I couldn't concentrate on my finances."

"So you came here?"

Mulder nodded.

"I had no idea you were the library type, Mulder. You surprise me."

Mulder mouthed the word "type" to me. "Scully, I have a type? That surprises me. I do come into the library from time to time, especially with the escalating prices of books these days."

"I didn't know, Mulder. I'm sorry. The more I think I've figured you out...the more times you keep me guessing."

He gave me a wry smile. "I'll always keep you guessing, Scully."

A lighthearted smile played on my lips. "I know you will."


I nodded. "Wouldn't you like to know?"

"Scully, there's room at the table for you. Why don't you sit down?" He pointed to the chair next to him. "You must be tired."

I pulled out the chair next to him and carefully sat down. I didn't want to disturb his papers. "I'm surprised you're doing this here."

"I understand. It's not the best place to do financial paperwork, but I must if I want to escape from the noise. I have to replace my lamps because I broke them. I felt so paranoid, so hurt that...I had to do something. Plus -- do you know how annoying it is to use my check to replace my furniture? I hope it's not going to be an annual thing."

"Mulder, I doubt that's going to be an annual thing."

"I hope it's not going to reoccur anytime soon, Scully."

"Do you always replace furniture?"

"Not always. When I first joined the X-Files, my partner and I found our hotel rooms trashed. Then yet another time, her apartment was trashed. The vandalism affected her so much that I couldn't persuade her to stay."


"Diana Fowley. She was smart, but she kept on agreeing with everything I said. Later on, I realized that something else was on her mind. I never found out what it could be. The next thing I knew -- she was headed for Europe." He paused and then his eyes gazed into mine. "I think you're going to last a long time on the X-Files with me."

I didn't know how to react -- this was the second time Mulder had revealed a bit more about his past. I was touched by his words -- they meant that he trusted me. "Should I take that as a compliment?"

Mulder gave me the brightest smile yet. His smile could have energized masses of people. "You should."

"I hope you meant the words you just told me," I said to him.

He looked at me with those now-serious eyes. "I meant every word I said."

I looked at my watch. "Are you almost done? I thought we lunch together."

"I'm almost done, Scully. What brought you here to the library?"

"I wanted to find the latest Stephen King book. I couldn't find it. All copies seem to be in use, according to the library catalog."

"You could always place a hold on the book."

"I'll do that."

"If that fails, you can try an inter-library loan."

"Thanks, Mulder. You certainly have knowledge about library information. Were you a librarian in a former life?"

"Well, I have always been a lover of libraries, Scully. I have always loved the calmness. I come here when time allows so I can do some thinking."

"I have this thing for the beauty of architecture. They recently painted a beautiful mural in the children's section -- "

"Oh, I saw it. It has the solar system on it."

"And it's beautifully painted."

"I love the child size tables and chairs. It makes me feel like a kid coming here."

I nodded. "I feel the same way. It's so intricately remodeled. It's much better than what it used to be." I noticed Mulder was putting his calculator into the pocket of his black trenchcoat. "You're finished?"

Mulder got up from his chair, and then I got up from mine. He looked at me, smiling. "Let's do this again."

"I agree."

"I'm paying for lunch, Scully."

"I thought I was going to pay since I suggested it."

"I feel like treating you."

"Thanks, Mulder," I told him. I felt strange. It was as if this day was finally turning out to be a good day after all. Although I came here originally looking for the new Stephen King book, my day wasn't dampened by frustration I felt earlier when I was walking in the aisles. If I didn't know better, I'd have bet I was supposed to run into Mulder at the library today. It seemed like it was fated, that I was supposed to be with him anyway.

I wished I could tell him, but I was scared to believe in that possibility. Maybe someday I would tell him, but I wasn't brave enough to believe in fate. Hopefully, I would get the chance to summon enough courage to believe.

As he held the door for me, I felt his hand on the small of my back guiding me to the exit. As I walked into the sunlight brimming from the sky, I felt optimistic about our future. I would someday tell him the truth.

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Author's Notes:

This story was originally written for a challenge, but I would like to dedicate this story to Tali for encouraging writers to write a lot of fanfic. :) If it weren't for her, many WIPS and fanfic would have gone unwritten and unrealized.

I would like to thank my beta reader, Jen, for her enormous support. I'm appreciative for her ideas, suggestions, and comments. I used every single piece of advice she gave me. She has been a wonderful friend when I needed her.

This story is a response to the Haven's Mix and Match Challenge. Basically, you pick one element from the object list and another element from the location list:

Bear skin rug
calculator X
banana peel

a library X
back of a pickup truck
observation area of the Washington Monument. It takes 897 steps to get up there
a graveyard
storm cellar

I picked calculator and a library. At first, I thought I would write a Pre-XF story with the elements...but then I thought about Conduit. I wanted to explore their budding Season One relationship.

I truly enjoyed writing this story. I would like to thank Sybil for the challenge. I was inspired by the new library in my hometown. I thought it would be nice if Mulder and Scully visited it. In the children's section, it really does have child size tables and chairs. Seeing that section made me feel like a kid again.

If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Erin M. Blair