Actions

Work Header

the progression (and regression) of first names

Work Text:

Scully spends New Year’s Eve in a hospital room: “Because my life isn’t depressing enough,” she laments to Melissa on the phone, and Missy tries to laugh like it’s funny but it’s not. They are in mourning; their father is dead, their mother is all to pieces, and Charlie didn’t come to the funeral. Bill and Melissa are staying with their mother in Baltimore. They wanted Dana to come too, but Dana has never been one to show emotions around other people. “I need to work,” she’d told Mulder, and it was the truth. The sad thing is that Mulder getting shot has given her the perfect excuse to hide, here in North Carolina where she thought everything would matter less. 

(It doesn’t. Boggs yanked her out of hiding by her ankle, wouldn’t let her rest. She doesn’t go to Boggs’ execution because she’s afraid to believe. She’s afraid of what he’ll tell her. She hides in Mulder’s hospital room because it’s easier, but he won’t let her hide, either. He calls her Dana and touches her shoulder and she shrinks into herself like a crumpled piece of paper. He knows her too well; she is the pathologist, but he would be just as good with a scalpel. He has a way of bringing hidden things to the surface.)

There’s a pathetic TV in Mulder’s room and they watch the ball drop in Times Square on it. Mulder’s on pain medications, which make him goofier; he counts along with the spectators in Times Square with a glazed-over look in his eyes. Scully watches in silence, hands knotting in her lap. She’s had plenty of good New Year’s Eve memories to stock up over the year - she spent the last one with Ethan, tipsy from champagne and giggling hysterically when he kissed her, teeth bumping together - but the only one she can think of now is the first year she was allowed to stay up til midnight, at nine. (She and Missy had snuck out on the back porch minutes away from midnight and sat on the step, watching the stars. She’d tipped her head up to the sky, mittened hands pressing into her knees when she felt the pressure of her father’s hand on her head and turned to look at him. “It’s a new year now, Starbuck,” he’d told her seriously. “It’s your chance to start over, to make your life whatever you want it to be.”) Scully blinks hard to stop the onslaught of tears and reaches for the tissues she’d crumpled in her pocket. 

“Hey, Scully,” Mulder says, touching her wrist. “Scully. Are you okay? Are you sad again?”

He’s high as a kite, Scully thinks wryly. “I’m fine,” she says, scraping her fingertips under her eyes. Maybe she should take some time off with Mulder after this case, give herself some time to recover so she won’t be crying all over the place every case. “I just… memories. You know how it is.” And with his sister, he must know. 

Mulder rests his head against her shoulder. “It’s 1994,” he slurs into her jacket. “Anything can happen now, Scully; make a wish.”

“I’m pretty sure you’ve got the wrong holiday,” she tells him. 

He points to the TV where a couple is kissing, confetti falling down on them like rain. “We should do that,” he says, raising his head to look at her. “In honor of the New Year.” 

For a half-second, she considers it. He’s been more affectionate with her over time; something shifted with them, in Alaska. Something had made them stronger. He’s called her Dana three times now. He tried to comfort her. She remembers him kissing that ex-girlfriend, Phoebe. She’s wondered how he kisses before. 

Then she reconsiders. Considers the consequences. She’s broken enough Bureau policy this year, she thinks. She is grieving, not in her right mind, and he’s on pain meds, he might not remember a thing tomorrow. She rolls her eyes and says, “Go find a nurse, Mulder.”

Mulder sighs petulantly, burying his head in her shoulder. “You’re no fun,” he says. 

“Yeah, yeah. Tell it to someone who’ll care,” she teases, or tries to. She pats him on the head. “It’s late, Mulder. Get some sleep; I’ll be back in the morning, okay?” He grumbles something disagreeably, but slides back under the covers. She tucks the blankets around him before standing and heading for the door. 

“Happy 1994, Scully,” Mulder slurs as an afterthought when she’s halfway out of the room.

“Happy 1994, Mulder,” she says over her shoulder. That’s all there is to say, it seems.


She goes back to work a week after they return from North Carolina, rattling around in the lonely office. It feels wrong to be there without Mulder. He calls her every few hours for news, bugging her about cases and she talks because there’s absolutely nothing to do. Mulder’s not a bad conversationalist, he can make anything into a twenty-minute debate. 

Skinner calls her up to his office on her third day back. “I was sorry to hear about Agent Mulder’s injury,” he says, semi-pleasantly. Frankly enough, Scully can’t read the man. “Considering his recovery period, I’m assigning you to a task force led by Agent Tom Colton for the time being. There’s a serial killer in the area, been killing people at memorials.” 

Great, Colton; just what she needs. She swears she used to like him before the Tooms case. “Yes, sir,” she says aloud. 

The case is unusual, even she can see that. All the victims have been found at memorials but the pattern doesn’t make sense - it’s not in any kind of shape or by the years corresponding to the people or events honored by the memorials. And outside of that, something even more unusual: all the witnesses never saw the murderer, not even a glimpse. One victim had been killed in plain sight, just fallen down from stab wounds in the crowd around the Jefferson memorial. Colton is insisting that there’s a pattern somewhere; Scully isn’t so sure. Still, she does the work, goes over the crime scene reports again and again. Four murder so far: one at the construction site of the future Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, one at the Vietnam Memorial, one at the Jefferson Memorial, and one at the Theodore Roosevelt island. The order makes no sense, either chronologically or geographically, and she is frustrated within minutes.

She gets a call that afternoon. When she answers, she’s actually surprised that it’s Mulder. Of course it’s Mulder; who else would be calling her outside of her normal office in the middle of the day? “Thank god I found you,” he teases. “When you didn’t answer the office phone, I thought maybe you’d been beamed up.”

“Cute,” she says sarcastically. “No, actually; Skinner loaned me out to Colton. Another serial killer.”

“The Memorial Murders?” Mulder cracks a sunflower teeth between his teeth. She can recognize the damn sound over the phone now. “I saw it on the news.”

“Any insight? I’m stumped,” says Scully, not really meaning it (she doesn’t expect him to be theorizing about a serial killer when he’s at home with a wounded leg).

“You should bring the file by tonight.”

(Clearly, she read him wrong; she should’ve seen this coming.)

“No, Mulder, you’re resting,” she chides immediately. 

C’mon, Scully, I’m bored to death here. I’ve watched so much daytime television that my head’s about to explode,” he whines into the phone. “Besides, I have a feeling that this is an X-File.”

“It’s not an X-File,” she says automatically.

“So bring the file over so you can prove me wrong.”

She brings the damn file over. She brings the file and dinner over to his apartment and lets him flip through it from his spot propped up on the couch. “Definitely an X-File,” he says through a mouthful of noodles, self satisfied.

“How did you deduce that?” she says dryly, arms crossed over her chest.

“The fact that witnesses didn’t see the actual crime being committed. That man who was murdered in the public place? Everyone near him swears they didn’t do it and swears they didn’t see a thing.”

“Don’t tell me you suspect the Invisible Man,” Scully groans, and he grins at her in a way that makes her head hurt. “It’s official,” she says, standing. “I’ve seen everything.”

“X-File or not, your real problem is not knowing when the killer will strike again,” Mulder says, taps the file with one finger. “I think I can figure out a pattern.”

“Because you’re oh-so-smarter than all the agents on this case?” she drawls, scowling at him.

“Don’t insult me, Scully, I’m wounded,” he says dramatically, mock-grabbing for his leg. She rolls her eyes. “Just let me try it out, Scully. I have a lot of time on my hands, you know.”

She leaves her copy of the files at his house against her better judgment. He did used to be the Bureau’s star profiler; maybe he’ll come up with something sane-sounding.

She goes over to his house the next two nights and they argue the case over dinner again. (He doesn’t manage to convince her it’s an invisible man, of course.) On the fourth day (the purported date of the next murder, if they could figure out where it’ll be), Scully shows up at his apartment late at night, feeling defeated. “Colton’s pissed we couldn’t figure it out,” she informs him. “He says he’s sending details to all the memorials in DC; he wants me to keep going over the files and see what I can find.”

“Scully, I found the pattern,” Mulder says frantically, trying to sit up on the couch. “I tried to call, you didn’t answer. It’s not by date of event that the memorial honors, it’s by date of when the memorial was established, going backwards with the most recent first, that’s why they started with the construction site. That’s why the events are out of order.”

“What?” She rushes over to the couch.

Mulder shoves a slip of paper at her where he’s scribbled the murder sites and corresponding dates. “By this pattern, the Lincoln Memorial would be next,” he says. 

She grabs the paper in both hands and scans it quickly. The dates match, he’s right. She checks her watch. “We have a half hour left,” she mutters. “That’s enough time, I can make it.”

“Scully?”

She’s already halfway across the apartment; she grabs his cell phone and throws it at him. “Call Colton, tell him to meet me there with backup,” she says, opening the door.

“Scully, wait!”

The door slams shut behind her and she jogs down the hall and down the stairs, refusing to wait for the elevator. Whoever’s next in the cycle doesn’t have time for the elevator. Outside, she gets into her car and drives, probably breaking several traffic laws on the way. She parks haphazardly at the memorial and climbs out, pulling her gun as she goes. 

The memorial ground is empty; she’s not surprised, considering it’s near midnight. She has no idea where Colton’s agents are staked out and doesn’t have time to go looking for him, she hopes they’ll see her and come out to back her up. She draws closer to the memorial, gun held low in front of her. She reaches the bottom of the steps and pauses. “Federal agent,” she calls out. “I’m armed. Is anyone on the premises?”

“Agent Scully!” someone yells at her from behind, just as something slams into her back. Scully tips foward, hitting her head on the stone steps of the memorial as she falls.


The first thing she hears is the crutches clattering on the marble. The ache reverberates through her head, Mulder’s huge palm brushing her forehead as he says her first name. “Dana? Dana, are you okay?”

She groans, the marble and the sky and Mulder spinning above her like a merry-go-round. “Don’t,” she gets out through clenched teeth.

“Don’t what? What is it?” His hand is still brushing her face, pushing back her hair.

Because she’s stubborn, she forces herself to her feet, stumbling a little and swallowing back nausea, using Mulder for balance because there’s no way she could get up otherwise. He shouldn’t be crouching like this, he’s straining his wound, they’re both ridiculous and hurt and ridiculously hurt. She tugs him up with her, handfuls of his t-shirt, and stumbles again with his added weight. “Don’t call me Dana.”

Mulder blinks in surprise at what she tells him. “Scully, sit down. Does your head hurt? Are you dizzy?”

“Yes, my fucking head hurts.” They stumble back together, her ass hitting the concrete steps hard; she swallows back a wave of nausea. Mulder lands half on top of her and immediately slides off, his wounded leg sticking out at a strange angle. “What are you doing here? I asked you to call Colton.”

“I did; they got here before I did, they called an ambulance. Colton’s detail said they saw the man who hit you but he disappeared when they went after him. They’re trying to find him now.” Mulder scoops her discarded gun off of the ground and holds it protectively on his lap. 

“You shouldn’t have come here on your leg.” Scully bends over, resting her head between her knees. It does nothing for the resounding pain. 

“You shouldn’t have come here without backup,” he retorts. “So we’re even.”
She wonders if he is mad about the Dana thing. She wonders why he ran after her, and then realizes she should find that obvious. It’s the same reason she gave him her jacket after she’d been shot.

Colton arrests the man and asks her if it’s the guy who hit her. Scully replies that she never actually saw him but she supposes it could be, she’d trust the word of the other two agents if she were him. Mulder asks if they really saw him disappear into thin air. “We didn’t see him disappear,” one of the agents snaps. “We saw him knock Agent Scully down, we got out of the car and he was gone, we ran after him and tracked it down. Why, Spooky, got a theory?”

The murderer glares at them as Colton leads him away. Mulder says, “There’s no conclusive proof that he’s not a man who can turn invisible,” and Scully slugs him in the arm.

Mulder insists on riding in the ambulance with her; whether he’s doing it out of concern or just to be annoying, Scully doesn’t know. (It’s probably the blood running down his leg, she realizes when they get there, and feels guilty.) He also volunteers to be the one who makes sure she stays awake when she’s diagnosed with a concussion. “Fine, but I’m putting Agent Scully in charge of keeping you off your feet,” the doctor says sternly, staring down the two of them like they’re bruised up school children instead of FBI agents. “You shouldn’t be irritating your wound.”

“Believe me, sir, I’d do it if I knew how,” she says, and Mulder pouts at her from across the room.

Her head hurts and she is too tired for this but she goes back to Mulder’s apartment with him and sits beside him on the couch and dictates her report to him while Back to the Future plays in the background. Mulder rambles on about time travel X-Files he has in the cabinet. She tries to stay awake but it is hard. Her head lolls on the back of the couch and she lets her eyes slide closed. 

“Hey,” Mulder says. He touches her jaw. “You can’t fall asleep.”

“’M not asleep,” she mumbles, opening her eyes. Onscreen, Biff Tannen has just crashed his car into manure. “This movie is ridiculous,” she says.

Mulder grins. He looks like some Biblical hero with the light from the lamp haloing his head. “Of course you would think that.”


They return to work, begin taking cases again like normal. They fall back into routine, their partnership/friendship going back to its familiar rhythm. He doesn’t call her Dana.

It sounds different in his mouth and she can’t describe how. She knows what it is; it’s a sign of endearment, friendship, comfort. But she likes it that he calls her Scully. Dana and Scully, she thinks, are two separate people, and he only knows the Scully part of her. She doesn’t know which part she likes better, but she likes it when he calls her Scully. It’s their thing, like a friendship bracelet. It sounds dumb but it’s the only way she can rationalize it.


The handcuffs are hard and painful around her wrists and they rattle on the radiator every time she moves her hands. Willis is talking to someone on the phone. Someone from the FBI. Mulder, she thinks. She’d scream at him, give him clues to their location if she didn’t still have her pride and her Quantico training. And besides that, who knows what he and Lula will do if she did? 

“Yeah, sure,” Willis says into the phone, and approaches her. 

She realizes a minute too late that he’s going to let Mulder talk to her and scrambles to find something to say, some clue to give. She comes up with nothing but an uncertain, “Mulder?” Maybe it’s not him, she realizes, and feels embarrassed for assuming. 

“Dana, are you okay?” Mulder asks, frantic.

Relief briefly washes over her. “Don’t-” she starts to warn him (he can’t negotiate, not with them, Jack might still be in there somewhere), but Jack yanks the phone away before she can finish. She can hear Mulder call her first name again, panicked, worry. Maybe she underestimated how much she means to him.

“Okay, that’s it. Goodbye,” Willis says, almost gleefully, before hanging up. 

Her stomach hurts. “It’s not gonna work, Jack,” she says because she refuses to believe he’s gone. He must still be in there somewhere, the man she’d once loved. 

“You don’t think so?”

“Bureau policy prohibits negotiating with kidnappers,” she says - because that’s what he’s done, kidnapped her. No, the Bureau won’t negotiate for her life. But if anyone is going to break protocol, it’s Mulder. 

He comes for her. He finds them. She knows he didn’t do it alone, but he still comes. She’s focused on Jack, on Lula; she wanted to save Jack and she couldn’t. “Scully, are you okay?” he asks as he crouches beside her, going to unlock the handcuffs. She can barely hear him over the rush in her ears.

She ignores him, calling for Jack again. The agent checking him shakes his head; he’s dead. Scully feels sick. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way.

The handcuffs fall from around her chafed wrists and she breathes an involuntary sigh of relief. “Here,” Mulder says, grabbing her hand to help her up. “Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” He touches the dried blood at the corner of her mouth, tries to put his arms around her.

She steps back; she just wants to be alone, sleep it the fuck off. She can’t stop seeing Jack’s last breaths. She could’ve saved him. She had saved him, once before, and it had doomed him. “I’m going home,” she says firmly, but it comes out all wrong. She sounds scared.

“Okay, Scully, I’ll take you. C’mon.” He motions her towards the door and out to his car.

He drives her home in silence, the motion of the wheels thrumming in her ears. Her wrists throb. Mulder drives without talking, but he can still hear his voice saying Dana.

He pulls up in front of her apartment building. “Thanks for the ride,” Scully murmurs, opening the door.

“Of course,” Mulder says, chewing his lip. He doesn’t look at her. She starts to close the door.

“I was… worried,” he says. He sounds briefly, stunningly vulnerable. “That you would… that I wouldn’t see you again.” He swallows, Adam’s apple bobbing. “I’m sorry I called you Dana.”

She doesn’t know what to say so she closes the door. It lingers for a minute before pulling away. Scully goes upstairs and crawls into bed.

The next day, she feels bad. Like an asshole. She doesn’t know if the feeling is misplaced or not (she should be allowed to be detached and withdrawn after the ordeal of the day before), but the least she can do is thank him. He stayed up all night with her when she had a concussion; he was the one they called to ransom her; he’s saved her life multiple times. He deserves a thank you, at least. Every time he’s tried to reach out, she shoves him away. Builds the wall back up. Time to knock it down, she tells herself, just a little. A few bricks at a time. She buys him coffee on the way to work. 

Mulder looks up in surprise when she enters the office. “Scully,” he says. “I thought you’d take a few days.”

He should know she uses work as a hiding place. “I’ve missed enough days,” she says instead, and hands him the coffee. “Here. Thanks for the birthday card.”

The side of his mouth quirks up. “You’re thanking me for a trap I set for someone else that was two months early?” he asks, taking the coffee. His fingers brush hers.

“You really don’t know my birthday, do you?” she says. “You were two weeks late. I was testing you.”

He laughs a little and turns the cup around to read what the barista scrawled on there. She had the skinny teenager write Also: thanks for saving my life on it. Mulder doesn’t mention it or say you’re welcome, but the next day, there’s coffee waiting for her that says, Any time


Scully has gotten hurt entirely too much in the past two months, alone. Her concussion, getting hit over the head again on the Kindred case (which couldn’t have done anything good for her concussion), her ordeal with Willis, and now this. She is taking a damn vacation. 

The ambulance meant for her has already left with Barnett; they’ve assured her another one will be along shortly. Good, she thinks; her chest hurts and she’s in a terrible mood. She’s not feeling particularly charitable towards John Barnett at the moment, either.

Mulder stumbles out of the concert hall, looking shaken up. “Scully?” he calls. “Scully!” 

“I’m here,” she calls.

He turns and strides across the room towards her, throwing both arms around her and hugging her too tightly. Pain shoots through her chest. “Mulder,” she squeaks into his shoulder. “Too tight.” 

“Sorry,” he mumbles, loosening his arms. He holds on for another second before letting go completely. She almost misses the weight of his arms. God, when’s the last time they actually hugged? Their first case, she suddenly remembers, when she stripped in his goddamn room. God, has it been that long? What kinds of friends are they? They almost die every couple months but they never hug?

“Fuck,” Mulder hisses through his teeth. “I’m sorry for… all this, Scully. I’m an idiot. And an asshole.”

“You did what you had to do,” she says. “I would’ve done the same thing.” 

“Yeah,” he says. “You still could’ve ended up like Reggie, though.”

“But I didn’t.”

“No,” he adds wearily after a minute. “You didn’t.” 

He sits beside her on the step. Their knees brush.


She thinks she hears him call her Dana when she’s under the influence of the mites. She doesn’t really think about it. At the moment, she can’t remember why it seemed like a big deal. 

They’re in quarantine, she’s informed when she wakes up. At least until they heal. Mulder looks at her with soft eyes that follow her movements; he clearly blames himself for this, too. He blames himself for everything.

The only TV in the facility was in his room, something she felt was a travesty. “This is ridiculous,” she tells him on the fifth day, standing in the doorway to his room. “We are both hurt. I deserve a TV just as much as you do.”

He raises an eyebrow at her from his spot on the bed. “Want to switch beds?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Mulder,” she says with some disgust - all coming out raspy from the delightful little mites that attacked them. (God, her life has become a bad horror movie.) “Just… scoot over.”

He looks abruptly stunned. “What?”

She walks over to his bed and shoves at his shoulder. “Scoot over.”

He raises an eyebrow at her but complies, scooting over close to the wall. She sits beside him on the edge of the bed and swings her legs around, leaving a few inches of space between them. “What are we watching?” she asks, leaning back against one of the pillows.

“Just some rerun,” Mulder says, turning up the volume a few octaves. It’s I Love Lucy, and its familiar black-and-white shadows and delighted laugh track are comforting. Scully watches and doesn’t say anything else.

A few months ago - a few weeks ago, even - she would’ve chided herself for doing this. It’s against Bureau policy. But in the moment that policy seems ridiculous. They’re in quarantine, and Mulder has the only TV, and he’s her friend. They don’t have a couch, so she’ll sit beside him on the bed; it’s that simple. 

They sit there for over an hour; the nurses come to check on them and leave them there. Mulder yawns suddenly; he’s fiddling absently with the little door on the back of the remote where the batteries go. “I’m sorry I got you into this mess,” he says. 

“It’s not your fault. How were you supposed to know that the men were killed by… mites who would enclose us in cocoons?” she jokes. She starts to laugh but it turns into a cough; watching I Love Lucy seems dangerous on laugh risk alone. Her life is a ridiculous parade of B-movie material.

“I’m used to the risks that come with this job. You’re not. You have a family.”

“You have a family,” she says. He’s mentioned his parents in passing once or twice and somewhere, she hopes, his sister is waiting for him to find her. 

“Let me rephrase, then: you have a family who cares about you.” Mulder coughs, letting his head droop back against the dashboard. 

The bandages over her burns itch; she doesn’t know what to say. “You have people who care about you, too, Mulder,” she replies quietly. “The Gunmen. And me.” 

Mulder ignores her, popping open the little door on the remote again. “You need to stay safe,” he says. He spins the battery under one finger. “You have more in your life than this.”

She doesn’t say anything because she still hasn’t found the right words. They watch the TV. The battery door click-clicks under Mulder’s finger. His breathing slows until she knows he is asleep. His head drops to her shoulder. He breathes like he is dying, even though she knows it’s just the aftereffect of the bugs; her breaths sound the same. 

In this moment of strange intimacy, the guilt over pushing him away comes rushing back. He is her friend, and he keeps trying to reach out to her. She can damn well let him. Friends call each other by their first names; friends can sleep on each other and hug each other and watch movies on the couch while they recover from their injuries. She feels ridiculous; who cares what he calls her? Who cares if he crosses the line from Scully into Dana? (She is starting to feel very much like they are one and the same. Or maybe they have always been that way.)

She climbs off of the bed and lowers him onto a pillow. It’s late, and the nurses will be through to check on them soon. He groans a little when she moves him, but he doesn’t wake up. She tucks the thin blankets around him the way she did in North Carolina. 

“You can call me Dana if you want to,” she whispers. 


Tooms is back and she is going to fight beside him. Bureau policy has gone out the window now; it’s about keeping people safe from the monster that is Eugene Victor Tooms. She doesn’t believe him in much, but she believes him about this. Now she’ll stand with him on the front lines. 

She brings him a sandwich and encourages him to go home. This is about loyalty, about showing him that she has his back. Time to meet in the middle. This is my fight too, Mulder; you of all people should know that.

“They’re out to put an end to the X-Files, Scully,” he says, and she believes him. “I don’t know why, but any excuse will do. Now, I don’t really care about my record, but you’d be in trouble just for sitting in this car and I’d hate to see you to carry an official reprimand in your file because of me.“

She sighs. “Fox…” she tries, because this is her apology for pushing him away, this is her attempt to connect.

If she expected anything, it was a question about why she would use his first name when she asked him not to use hers, but he laughs instead.She looks at him in astonishment. “And I… I even made my parents call me Mulder. So… Mulder,” he says, looking away from her. Maybe he’s as bad as emotions at her.

It’s absurd, but she feels some kind of relief. She says, “Mulder, I wouldn’t put myself on the line for anybody but you.”

He looks at her with astonishment. Like he’s not used to hearing those kinds of things from people. And if what he told her in quarantine is true, then he doesn’t. She holds his gaze: I mean it. 

“If there’s an iced tea in that bag…” he says at length, teasing. “… could be love.”

“Must be fate, Mulder,” she says dryly, passing him the bottle. “Root beer.”

He sighs dramatically.

“You’re delirious,” she tells him. “Go home and get some sleep.”

“Here. Take my sandwich, I only had one bite,” he says, passing it to her. “And you’ll call me if anything happens, immediately. I’ll be here.”

She has no doubt that he would. She knows she would come for him if the positions were reversed - they have done this for each other man y times in the past year. (Has it only been a year? She almost can’t believe it, it seems like such a long time.)

“Oh,” he adds as her fingers brush the door handle. “Oh, and 11:30, station 790, Pete Rose Late Night Sports Talk Radio Show.” He grins at her like an idiot, and she smiles back, some sort of half-smirk that she finds endearing before climbing out of the car.

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world,” she mutters wryly as she heads back towards her car. She feels like they’ve reached neutral ground, some kind of understanding. He is Mulder and she is Scully and that’s the only sane way to describe their relationship. Partners, friends, the kind who can almost read each other’s mind. They don’t need first names for that.

In the moment, she has never felt more like Scully.