Summary: A moment of loneliness on Scully's part leads her to Mulder's apartment in the wee hours of the morning.
Authors Note: Hopefully I didn't waffle. Hope this is okay... I haven't written in so long.
"Bugger," the butterfly from my earring was flung from my fingers and behind the duchess. I dragged it forward, with a very un-lady like grunt. Why do they make these things so heavy? A photo slid out from behind it and fluttered to my feet. It was a black and white photo of me, just fifteen years old. I was sitting on the doorstep of our house, my cat curled on my lap. I smiled sadly.
Alaska was a silver tabby. I named her Alaska because when I looked at her I thought of ice, and of snow, and of winter. She wasn't my first pet, we had an Irish setter Sammy, and a big old tabby cat called Herbert that mum and dad had gotten before us kids. But Alaska is the pet that stands out in my mind more than all others. I think we all have one of those. Whether it's the animal itself that makes the memories so strong, or the time in our life we're at I don't know.
Alaska's mum was hit by a car just outside our house. Charlie and I found her one day in the summer break. We stood a few feet away at first, both looking at each other to see who would check and see if she was still breathing or not. Charlie was in his shorts, flip flops and his favourite red shirt. It clashed with his hair, and looked ridiculous. But he so loved it... and wore it all summer long. Mum had trouble getting it off him to wash. Me in my shorts and black shoe-string top I'd borrowed from Melissa. I wanted Timothy to see me; he lived across the road from us. Sun had freckled my shoulders, and I even had a few dashed across my nose and cheeks now. Charlie was red as anything; he was outside even longer during the summer than I was. He and Bill were building a tree house out back. (Or trying to, if I remember rightly, I think a hospital visit for a broken arm on Bill's part was how it ended.)
Charlie found a stick and poked the cat to see if she'd move. I took a deep breath and braved getting close enough to rest my fingers against her neck. No pulse... and from the book I was reading... I touched the corner of her eye, and nothing happened. "She's dead," I told Charlie. He shrugged it off, and ran out back to find Bill. I sat down a few feet away from her and covered my face with my hands. I forced myself not to cry, and finally stood up and went out to the shed to get a shovel. She'd need to be buried.
Late that night I heard the tiny mewing. It was constant and desperate. I slipped from under my sheet, it was far too hot for anything more than that; and slipped my sandals on. It was pitch black outside my window. The house was quiet. It was late enough for everyone to be asleep, even my parents... I tip toed out to the back door, grabbing the flashlight from the shelf, and shut the door as quietly as possible. I paused after the soft click to make sure no-one inside was stirring. Satisfied I hadn't even woken my dad with his super-hearing, I walked around the perimeter of the house, calling for the cat. I had to call in a stage whisper so I didn't wake my family, I felt kind of silly... But finally I pinpointed the tiny meows; they were coming from under the house. I crawled under the deck, pointing the flashlight straight ahead. I shivered. It was kind of scary, it was so dark... Maybe I should have woken Charlie. There was a scratching, and then a little face appeared out of the dark in front of me.
"Oh, honey." I covered my mouth, spitting as I realised I had dirt all over my hands from crawling under the house. The kitten dashed behind a wood pile. I crawled further, the stones and dirt biting into my bare knees; finally coaxing the poor hungry kitten out from the wood pile. "I'll help you," I whispered and scooped it up and tucked it into my side. It was shivering and barely even put up a fight even though it'd probably never been handled by humans, just like its mum, the dead cat I'd found earlier that day.
My parents had let me keep the kitten. She ended up sleeping on my bed every night until she died eighteen years later of renal failure.
I felt like Alaska now, shivering, standing outside Mulder's apartment door. I felt lost, cold, afraid and lonely. I felt the tears prick my eyes again. I didn't think Mulder would mind if I woke him... He'd woken me plenty of times before at... I checked my watch... Four in the morning...? Well, not often but he had definitely woken me in the wee hours of the morning before. I raised my hand to knock, but didn't have the heart to wake him...With trembling legs I sat beside his door, my legs tucked up to my chest, and my hands going purple from the cold. "Mulder," I whimpered, quietly, and bumped my head against the wall accidentally as I let my head fall back.
A moment later the door opened and Mulder stumbled out his hair sticking up all over the place, his eyes half closed. "Scully?" He muttered. I swiped at the tears trailing down my face, and looked up.
"How'd you know I was here?"
"I heard noises..." He reached down and grabbed my hand. "You're freezing!" He dragged me into his apartment, pushed me onto the couch and got his gas heater going, and handed me his couch blanket. "I don't know how I knew it was you, I guess in my sleepy state you were the first thing that came to mind." He chuckled, but his eyes stayed steady on mine.
"I think I've hit my mid-life crisis." I rubbed my eyes, the tears had finally stopped. "I found a photo of my childhood pet. And all of a sudden I'm crying, and wondering how I got to this point in my life, and I..." I trailed off. "I just felt lonely, I guess."
"What am I, chopped liver?" Mulder swept a stray lock of hair from my face.
"I know..." I shifted closer to him on the couch, watching his face carefully, making sure this was okay. He tucked his arm around me and pulled me close. I sighed, being this close to him made my heart race. I wanted him so bad. But I was terrified at the same time. What if I ruined our friendship? He was everything to me. I of course couldn't admit that to him. He leant forward and kissed my cheek. I turned my face to him.
"Scully... would you mind... if I kissed you?" His warm breath tickled my face.
"No," I responded breathlessly. He leant forward and gently touched his lips to mine, I opened my mouth, and his tongue slipped into my mouth. Oh God, how long... How long had I waited for this? He took my lower lip into my mouth, and my hand trailed up his arm. I loved his arms. Actually there wasn't a lot I didn't love about his body, or him. Sure he could drive me absolutely up the wall. But he was also the first guy to protect me no matter what, to really care what I had to say, to really care about me. We pulled away, so very slowly... And he rested his forehead against mine.
"I don't know what this means, Mulder." I expected him to tell me that we'd just gotten to close. That this couldn't happen again... I waited, holding my breath, almost afraid he was going to pull away immediately. I wanted to make the most of this moment.
"It's kind of obvious that we've been attracted to each other all along... Right...?" His voice was quiet and serious.
"Yes..." I couldn't figure out where he was leading.
"I know it's not allowed Scully..." He trailed off. No, the FBI frowned on partnerships that become relationships. We'd be split up.
"I don't want to lose you Mulder," I pulled away slightly. "However nice this is. We could save ourselves the pain... and pretend this... Tonight never happened..."
"...or we could take a chance." Mulder said. He wanted to take a chance? I warmed all over. My heart felt strange. He wanted to take a chance!
"Okay," I tried not to smile, but it was impossible to hide how happy he had just made me. I leant forward, tentatively touching my lips to his. He pulled away not long after.
"As nice as this is Scully, we have work in a few hours and I think we both need to sleep." One hand still held me close, the other he had running through my hair. It was so hard to concentrate on his words...
"Oh," I said finally. "Right, well I'll see you in the morning." I leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. I was about to get up, but he spoke again...
"Did you... I mean if you wanted... to stay here?" Did he mean, in his bed...? His eyes moved towards his bedroom door.
"Yes," I whispered.
He slipped under the covers, and reached over to turn down the covers a little for me on the other side. I stripped out of the jeans and shirt I'd hastily thrown on before heading here. "Can I borrow a t-shirt Mulder, to sleep in?
"Second drawer," I felt self conscious walking around in my underwear. But this was Mulder; I reminded myself. He'd seen me without my clothes on before. I guess I'd just never been quite aware of his eyes following my every move like now. I selected the first shirt I found and slipped under the covers next to him. His warm arms wrapped around me, and I pressed myself as close to him as possible. I'd never felt so safe, and so secure before.
"You're still cold," he commented.
"You're warm, so I'll warm up soon." I smiled against his shoulder. This was so nice... So nice! How was I going to ever sleep in my so very empty bed again after tonight?
"I'm glad you're going to give us a chance." Mulder mumbled a few minutes later. I kissed his shoulder.
"Me too," I responded sleepily. "I think I'm going to frame that photo of Alaska," I muttered. But his breathing had evened out. I snuggled closer, knowing I would be drifting off soon too.
Authors Note: Yeah, this is the end. I just wanted a little snippet of Scully's life really. I don't think it needs to be any longer. :-)