Dana Scully enjoyed a lovely, albeit boring Friday night. She ate a hearty meal of chicken and vegetables, took a luxurious Lavender soak in her bathtub, and managed two chapters of her current book before turning her bedside light out at 11 p.m. Of course, Mulder calls at 2 a.m. She doesn’t even have to guess anymore. NO ONE calls her at 2 a.m. Just like that, her lovely night is ruined. She lets it ring three times before reaching to lift the phone to her ear.
“Someone had better died, Mulder.” she deadpans.
“Hey Scully, it’s me. Whatcha doing?”
“I’m sleeping, Mulder. Well, I WAS sleeping. A perfect sleep, actually. I had a lovely night and went right to bed and 3 hours later, you’ve absolutely ruined it. What do you want?” she practically whines.
“Well, I’m so sorry, but per our talk about ‘not leaving our partner behind,’ I’m calling to let you know that The Lone Gunmen and myself are going out to do a little surveillance and, well, I’m not sure, but if you call me, I may not be able to talk.”
“Wait. What? Mulder, what the hell are you talking about?” Scully takes a deep breath in. Even when Mulder lets her know what he is doing, he’s still so damn cryptic, although she is happy he is communicating his whereabouts. That’s certainly an improvement over the old Mulder who left her hanging.
“Me and the guys, Scully, we’re doing a little undercover work on this scientist. I might be MIA for a couple days. So if you need me, call me. I just might not be able to call you back immediately.” He sighs, and she can tell he is in a hurry.
“Mulder, I don’t feel comfortable with this. Tell me where you’ll be. I’ll meet you.”
“Are you sure? I mean, I would have invited you if I thought you’d be interested in hanging with us guys.” He chuckles.
“A couple of days, undercover with four guys? No, Mulder. That is not my idea of fun. However, you always get into trouble without me. I think it would be safer for me to tag along this time. What’s the address?”
He gives her the information and they come up with a place along the way to meet up. After dressing warmly for the impending weather that is sure to hit tomorrow, Scully fluffs her hair, brushes her teeth, puts on some make-up, and applies the barest hint of perfume.
She grabs her gun, badge, and the directions and locks her front door. Making her way to her car, she wonders for the millionth time why she puts up with Mulder’s antics.
'Well he does have a fabulous derriere,' she thinks to herself.
She starts her car, putting the heater on and rubbing her hands together to ward off the cold.
“Yes, he certainly does.” A smile graces her face as she leaves her apartment building.
An hour later, Scully finds herself in the front seat of a car with Mulder by her side. The Lone Gunmen fidget in the back seat, anxious for something to happen.
“What do you see, Mulder?” Langley asks for the fifth time.
“Nothing so far.” Mulder dryly responds.
Scully laughs under her breath. The boys are already driving Mulder bonkers, and that thrills her to no end.
Just then, a door opens at the side of the building.
“Hey, check it out.” Scully points toward a figure moving in the dark. Mulder puts the binoculars up and views the path of the lone scientist as he steps into a car.
“That’s him, boys. It looks like we might get to see that lab much sooner than we anticipated.” Mulder looks back to Scully with a smile on his face. Scully thinks he looks so young in that moment. Full of a zest for life and the thrill of the moment he is in.
'It looks good on him,' she muses.
Scully forces herself to look away, observing the scientist. When she’d arrived, Mulder gave her a file with the name Dr. Bayoumb scribbled across it. He was a quantum physicist working on arc reactors. A quantum physicist who apparently dabbled in molecular physics as well, and he had a secret. A secret that the Lone Gunmen really wanted to know and they dragged Mulder into the conspiracy.
Mulder brings the binoculars down and turns around.
“Everyone duck down!” He harshly whispers.
He puts his arm around Scully, pulling her upper back down to crouch against the seat.
“Mulder, what’s wrong?” She whispers, trying to breathe.
“Dr. Bayoumb. He’s driving right by us. It would be strange to see five people sitting in a car at 3 a.m., don’t you think?”
She blows out a breath, a sound of exasperation on the tail end of it. Mulder winks at her and she tries to hide her smile by grimacing.
10 minutes later, Mulder and Scully are walking into the lab with the Lone Gunmen bringing up the rear. Frohike slides up next to Scully.
“You’re looking quite beautiful tonight, Dana.”
Scully raises an eyebrow as Mulder shoots daggers at the back of Frohike’s head. She can’t help the grin that appears.
“Thank you, Melvin. That’s very sweet of you to notice.”
Mulder breaks them up by steering Frohike toward Langly and Byers.
“Don’t even try it, Frohike. She’s WAY out of your league, man.”
“Speak for yourself. I have a way with the ladies.” Frohike smoothes down his jacket.
“Pffft. Yeah, at the retirement home.” Langly replies while searching through some files.
“I don’t think Frohike meant any harm. Agent Scully is a very pretty woman, and she’s probably outside all of our leagues. However, right now we have more important matters to focus on.” Byers replies.
Scully is practically blushing at this point and Mulder comes up behind her to whisper in her ear.
“Are you outside of my league, Scully?”
She tilts her head down and moves away from Mulder, deeper into the room until she comes upon a door to the lab. Knowing she has a way to escape, she turns to Mulder to answer, using a voice loud enough so the Lone Gunmen can hear.
“Well, Mulder. I don’t think anyone is out of any league, and I think believing in league theory is simply providing an excuse for one to not take chances in life; which can greatly contribute to a distorted self-perception. Believing ‘I’m not as pretty or rich or famous as them,” means you’re focused on putting yourself down instead of focusing on your redeeming qualities. You’re equating yourself and everyone around you to a subjective sense of worth that no one can determine. Mulder, you have many fine qualities that any woman would find attractive, and if someone doesn’t find value in them, then it’s not because they are out of your league. It’s simply not meant to be in the first place.”
Scully raises a lone eyebrow as she stares Mulder down, then expertly turns on a heel and enters the lab. Mulder stands still as a statue, his mouth slightly hanging open. Frohike lifts his hand to close Mulder’s mouth.
“Oh man. You are one lucky son of a bitch.” Frohike pats him on the back.
“Huh?” Mulder replies in a daze.
“She digs you, dude.” Langly says from behind a computer.
“What?” Mulder shakes his head slightly.
“I believe that Agent Scully just told you that there are no leagues in her mind, that you have MANY fine qualities, and anyone who doesn’t see these qualities can take a long walk off a short pier. Use your head, Mulder. Did you think she was here after seven years because she likes your ties?” Byers replies.
Mulder touches his tie fondly with a hurt expression.
“What’s wrong with my ties?” He asks.
Frohike smiles as he pushes Mulder toward the lab door.
“Go talk to her, man. And don’t screw it up! Cause if you do, I’m going to be right behind you with flowers and chocolate.”
“Frohike, Langly, let’s get back to work. We may not have that much time left.” Byers states as he sits down in front of a computer.
“Oh, Mulder. Whatever you do, don’t touch anything in that lab!” Langly yells out, but Mulder is already walking to the door, lost in the subtle perfume of Scully still present in the air.
Mulder slips through the door quietly, observing Scully as she looks around the lab.
“So, find anything interesting?”
“Not yet.” Scully replies.
“So, the guys said something funny to me after you left.”
“Yeah. They thought maybe you might, uhm-” Mulder fumbles, swallowing convulsively as he tinkers around with the equipment.
“Mulder?” Scully turns around to watch him.
“I mean I’m not saying that you. What I mean to say”-
The air around them suddenly changes: a surge of electricity. Mulder turns in a panic, rushing toward Scully. He’s not sure what button he hit, but he’s pretty sure it’s not going to end well.
“What did you do?” She asks as he wraps her in his arms.
A bright flash of light, like the sun going supernova, happens in front of them. They lean in to each other, closing their eyes. A moment later, a loud sound, like a crack of thunder, is heard, and the Lone Gunmen watch their friends disappear before their eyes.