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beauty in the breakdown

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Scully breathes a sigh as she steps off the elevator into the basement. Thirty minutes into a mandatory forensics seminar with no sign of Mulder, and for the most part, she's so damn frustrated with him and his behavior lately that she doesn't feel like going off in search for her missing partner. However, when Kersh pulled her aside and asked about Mulder's whereabouts, she figured she might as well give it a try and keep him out of the way of their boss's rage once again.

They've only just gotten the X Files back, but stepping back into the basement gives her a wash of comfortable familiarity. She longs for the earlier days, before she was taken, when Mulder was still a relative gentlemen, when she was blissfully ignorant to her feelings for him. But she can't go back in time-- she must deal with the here and now.

Later, she'll wish she'd paid more attention. She will wonder why she didn't hear the heavy breaths, the gentle squeak of the office's desk over the click of her heels against the same floor. She'll wish she never knew, and could go on thinking Mulder had just been out of sorts since the ordeal in Antarctica and everything that surrounded the event.

But she doesn't know, she's too far gone in her head, and when she sees the source of the noises that her brain had tried to conceal from her understanding, right through the open door of the basement office, Scully nearly drops to the floor.

She's able to whip around and hide behind the wall before either of them see or hear her. For a moment, all she hears is her pounding heart, quick breaths, and the sickening noises from inside the office.

"God, yes, Fox, I love you," the other woman moans loudly. There's a shushing noise.

"Quiet, Diana."

At the sound of his voice, lathed in pleasure, Scully feels her heart stop. She takes off her heels so they don't hear her, and can barely stay on her feet as she runs back to the elevator.

She gets all the way to her car. Checks the mirror, turns the engine on. Clicks her seatbelt into its lock and ignores the trembling of her fingers as she straps the belt over her.

Scully makes it to her apartment, closes the door, and cries so hard she pulls the breath from her lungs.