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Tampa Jones: Wedding Planner

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The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax,” Mulder said, as he walked into Faith’s room where Scully was getting her ready for bed. They both looked up at him, and he smiled before finishing. “Of wedding vows and rings.” Scully gave him a confused smile and continued over to the changing table with Faith. 

“What are you talking about, Mulder? Your daddy has gone crazy, my love. Well … crazier, I’d say,” Scully said, with a glance back at him. 

“Hey! What did I say about ganging up on me?” he asked, as he walked over to them, and Faith smiled at him. 

“You come in here spouting Lewis Carroll mixed with your own version of the rhyme, we make the assumption of crazy, don’t we my sweet girl?” Scully asked Faith, as she nuzzled her neck and kissed her cheek. “So what’s up, Mulder? What are you talking about?” 

“I’m talking about the wedding, our wedding, Scully,” he said, standing beside her and tickling Faith’s stomach. “We’ve been engaged for almost a year, and I know that it doesn’t really make a difference, but I do want to get married. To you.” 

“Yes, I’m aware, and thank you for specifying that it is indeed me you want to marry, and not some random woman,” she said, smiling and rolling her eyes at him. “Could you hand me her pajamas, please?” 

“Scully,” he said as he walked to the dresser to get the pajamas. “You said to me, if memory serves, that you wanted to wait to get married until you weren’t, ‘as big as a pregnant blue whale.’ Well, I’d say first off, you were never as big as a whale, you were always beautiful and perfectly proportionate.” He walked over to her and handed her Faith’s new pajamas, purple ones with pandas on them. “And, if I may be so bold as to say it, you are smoking hot now, and I see no reason to not get this wedding train moving.” 

She put Faith’s pajamas on, smiling as she did. His words were sweet and she understood what he was attempting to say, but she wanted to see him squirm a little. “I’m sorry,” she said, as she zipped and buttoned Faith’s outfit. She lifted her and kissed her cheek, turning to stare at Mulder. “I’m smoking hot now ? Are you insinuating that I wasn’t before? Especially when I was pregnant?” She stared at him, her eyebrows raised and watched his flustered face as he grasped for thee words to come up with a response. She smiled, and he relaxed. 

“You’re not funny, you know that right?” he asked, as he reached for Faith. She smiled and laughed as he held her close. 

“Oh, I disagree. I think I’m very funny,” she laughed, as she stepped closer and kissed him. She stepped back and grinned as he shook his head. 

“Your mama thinks she’s hilarious, Squatchy,” he said, looking at Faith and then back to Scully, who continued to grin at him. “Try to pay a woman a compliment and she twists your words around …” He shook his head again and she laughed. 

“Thank you, Mulder. Still got some scoot in my boot, smoking hot … I’ll take it,” she kissed Faith’s hand and smiled at her before kissing him once again. “You put her to bed and come find me to talk about this wedding business. I’ll be the one in the bed.” She turned to walk out the door and then looked back at him. “Possibly with no clothes on.” He groaned as she smirked and shrugged her shoulders, walking out of the room. 

“Your mama is going to be the death of me one day, little girl,” she heard him say. “And I wouldn’t have it any other way.” She smiled, deciding to take a quick shower first, before she waited as promised, with no clothing. 

Later, after they caught their breath and she was nestled in his arms, his fingers trailing across her sweaty back, he cleared his throat and she knew the discussion was coming. 

“Mulder, before you start, I want to say that this will be a simple wedding, just us. I know that you go overboard sometimes and-” 

“Scully, I would never dream of going overboard-” she snorted, and he smacked her ass, making her gasp. He laughed, and she dug her nails into his chest, making him gasp in return. They were both laughing softly as they shifted a bit, her head on his shoulder, her arm around his waist. 

“So, tell me what you’ve planned, Mulder, I know it’s gotta be something,” she said, taking a deep breath and smiling as she closed her eyes. 

“Hmm,” he hummed and rubbed his hand up and down her arm. “Well, I know we haven’t discussed it much, but I found this wedding planner online-” he stopped talking as she leaned up and looked at him in astonishment. 

“A wedding planner, Mulder? A wedding planner,” she said in disbelief. “It’s going to be you, me, and Faith at the courthouse, Mulder. No need for a planner, as I’ve just done it for you.” She looked at him and shook her head, causing him to sigh. 

“I know you want to keep it simple, and I agree to a point,” he said, as he stroked her hair back from her face. “But, Scully … I’ve been thinking recently that I’d like to do something more, and I’d like you to hear me out.” She stared at him and nodded before laying back down with her head on his shoulder. “Thank you.” She hummed, and he laughed softly. 

They lay quietly for a few minutes and then he took a deep breath. “Twenty six years we’ve known each other, Scully. That’s almost half of both our lives, and I feel that should be celebrated. I don’t necessarily want a huge wedding, but maybe a gathering for a reception after? There are many people who have been instrumental in our lives, especially the past few years, and I’d like to have them with us.” He kissed her head, and she sighed, pulling him closer to her. 

“So, you consulted a wedding planner to plan a reception for … maybe fifteen to twenty people?” she teased him. “Mulder, we don’t need a planner for that and I’m sure she would laugh in your face over the thought of it.” 

“Oh, how sexist of you, Scully, assuming only women are wedding planners,” he admonished her teasingly. “This planner happens to be a man and quite a character.” 

“Have you met him? I thought you found him online?” 

“Well, it was both,” he said, moving so they were lying side by side and facing each other. “I found him online as I was looking up … other things, and saw he was in the area. So, when you went out to the yoga class one day, I decided to pay him a visit. He’s a character, and I liked him immediately.” He smiled and she nodded. 

“These … other things you were looking up-”

“Knew you weren’t going to let that go.” 

“Oh, absolutely not,” she said with a grin. “What were these things you needed to find?” He sighed and closed his eyes, but she waited. When he finally opened his eyes, he sighed again. 

“I don’t want this to feel like a simple stop at the courthouse to get married, like we’re going to the deli to pick up an order,” he said, reaching for her hip and holding on lightly. “It’s not a common thing, not … not anymore it isn’t. I lost you for a while and that won’t happen again. So for me, I want it to be more than a simple five minutes in front of a judge.” His fingers stroked softly across her hip bone and she sighed as she reached a hand out to touch his face. “I want to get married in a church, someplace your mom would have approved of and happily been there to witness.” Tears welled in her eyes as she nodded, and he smiled. 

“She would have been so happy to see it,” Scully whispered, stroking his cheek. He nodded, nuzzling against her hand. She sniffled and let out a deep breath. “Okay, Mulder, a church is fine, but just us. And Skinner. I’d like him there as our witness.” Mulder nodded again, and she moved her hand to hold his laying on his pillow. 

“Now we’re getting somewhere with our planning,” he said, squeezing her hand and making her smile. 

“You still didn’t say what things you were looking for online.” 

“Well, assuming this conversation went well, I was planning to show you cakes and flowers and decorations-” seeing her horrified expression he stopped and laughed. “Oh, Scully! It was worth it, just to see that look on your face!” He laughed again and pulled her closer to him. “No, I was looking up churches and information about places to possibly have a reception and I saw the wedding planner guy. I emailed him, his name is Tampa by the way, and he was helpful and kind, so I met with him and he is hilarious. I know you’ll really like him.” 

“Tampa, you say?” she asked him, and he nodded against her head. “Well, I can’t say that I thought I would ever be the kind of person who considered using a wedding planner for any reason, but I’ll at least meet with him. If that’s where this discussion was leading.” 

“Great. I’m happy to hear that, Scully, because we have an appointment set up to meet with him at noon tomorrow.” 

“Oh, is that so?” she asked, pulling her head back to look at him. He nodded with a wink, and she shook her head before laying back down in his arms. “Clever man, sneaking that information in that way.” 

“Yeah, it’s almost as if I know you or something,” he said with a huge yawn and she answered with one of her own. “We don’t have to use him, Scully. I just want you to meet him and hear him out.” 

“Sure. Fine. Whatever.” 

“Hey!” 

_________________

Scully stood outside the building and shook her head at all the cutesy fancy wedding items in the display windows. Flowers, cakes, fabric wrapped chairs, ornate dishes, table linens, and silverware were set up beautifully, but made her feel almost claustrophobic. This was not her. As much as she did enjoy nice things, this was too much. 

She sighed and Mulder bumped her shoulder, his hands on the handle of the stroller. “You promised to try and to at least hear him out.” She sighed and glanced at him with a nod, before dropping her head back and exhaling deeply. “Jesus Christ, Scully, quit acting like your heading to the gallows. It’s just a wedding planner.” He rolled his eyes as he opened the door and waited for her to push the stroller through before following behind her. 

A bell tinkled as they walked in, and Scully heard a noise ahead of them as someone scrambled about in the recess of the store. 

“Be with you in just a second! Please take a look around!” called a male voice before a loud crash was heard followed by an even louder, “Shit!” Scully laughed as she stopped the stroller in front of a table lavishly decorated table. 

“Didn’t I say you’d like him?” Mulder asked, close to her ear. 

“I haven’t met him yet. Don’t get cocky,” she said, with a sideways glance and he grinned. 

“You Solo-ed me, Scully. That is so hot.” He grinned again and she laughed, looking around the store. 

It was not as terrible as she imagined, her thoughts running to gaudy decorations from weddings she had been to in the past. Most of the table displays inside the store were more modern, with some classic designs sprinkled around the store. Some plates were golden and made her think of rich and annoying men and women who demanded the best of everything. Some flowers were loud in color and drew the eye immediately, while others were soft and gave the table just the attention it needed. 

There were tables with colorful tablecloths and some done elegantly in a simple white. Scully looked at Mulder as he took the stroller, motioning for her to have a look around. She walked away and looked at all the different settings, the ones she liked best being added to a list in her mind, before she shook her head at the absurdity of it all. She was there to meet with Tampa and to kindly let Mulder know how unnecessary this all would be for them. 

“I am so incredibly sorry!” She heard a man say close to her, and she turned to look at him. He smiled at her, and she smiled back. 

He was a handsome black man, about their age, dressed in a nicely tailored gray suit. His dress shirt was a darker gray and his tie was pink and gray striped. He wore dark black framed glasses and his smile was pleasant. Scully liked him immediately. 

“Tampa Jones, nice to meet you,” he said as he extended his hand to her. She took it, introducing herself as they shook hands. “Oh, yes! You’re the fiancée of …”  he turned his head and grinned as he saw Mulder to his left. 

“Mr. Mulder! It’s a pleasure to see you again!” he said, as he walked toward Mulder, his hand outstretched. Mulder shook his hand and grinned as Scully walked up beside them. “And this is your lovely fiancée. It is truly wonderful to meet you.” He smiled at Scully once again and then looked down. “And who is this beauty?” He bent down and looked at Faith as she sat in her stroller. 

Faith stared at him, chewing on the puffy snacks Mulder had put on her stroller tray. He made a funny face at her, and Faith stared at him before her face broke into a huge grin. She shook her hands and kicked her legs as he made another silly face. She laughed and screeched as she watched him, and he began to laugh. 

Standing up, he looked at Scully. “She’s gorgeous. She definitely has your eyes.” Glancing at Mulder, he shook his head. “You’re in trouble, my man.” They all laughed and Mulder nodded as he added a few more snacks to the tray. Faith, however, was not interested in them, devoting all of her attention to Tampa. 

“Seriously, wow, she’s a cutie,” he grinned at her and made another silly face. Scully watched him and then glanced at Mulder. He winked at her and she shook her head, knowing she was undoubtedly going to accept the help of this man to plan their small wedding, and she knew Mulder knew it too. 

Tampa looked between them and then he and Mulder began to speak about their previous meeting and what they had discussed. Scully took Faith from the stroller and held her on her hip as she stood by Mulder and listened to their conversation. Seeing Faith in Scully’s arms, Mulder took her and excused them as he took her to look at the fountain in the corner. 

Traitor, Scully thought, as she watched him walk away. He knew exactly what he was doing, especially if the wink over his shoulder was any indication. She shook her head as Tampa turned his attention to her. 

“So, I take it this isn’t exactly what you had planned to do today?” he asked, as he smiled at her and she scoffed.

“That would be correct,” she smiled, as she looked around the large showroom. “You have many beautiful settings and decor, it’s just not …” 

“Not your ideal for a wedding?” 

“No, it’s not. But … I did promise that I would try so …” she smiled, and he stared at her, as though he was gauging her, sizing her up. She raised her eyebrows at him, and he mimicked her. 

“Oh, I like you,” he said, pointing at her and nodding. “I had a feeling I would from his stories about you, but damn girl.” He laughed, as she stared at him in astonishment. 

“Stories about me?” she asked hesitantly. 

“Oh yeah, your man had a lot to say about you,” he said, with a laugh. “All good and amazing, if you’re thinking it wasn’t. Just so you know.” She stared at him and he grinned. “Did you really shoot him to save his life?” Scully blinked at him, her mind buzzing over what exactly Mulder had said about her and their relationship. 

“He was going to make a terrible mistake, I had to stop him,” she said, in a monotone voice. Tampa slapped his hands together and laughed heartily, throwing his head back as he did. Scully stepped back at his reaction and then smiled as she watched him. He laughed more before he took off his glasses and wiped his eyes. 

“Yeah, I knew I would like you,” he said, smiling again. “Any woman willing to shoot a man to keep him protected, that’s a person I need to know.” Scully laughed softly as he put on his glasses. He smiled at her and she sighed. 

“What else did he say?” she asked, glancing over at Mulder as he explained to Faith how the fountain worked. Tampa followed her gaze and chuckled. Scully turned her attention back to him and he dipped his head with a smile. 

“I don’t think it would surprise you to hear that he loves you,” he said, as he raised his head. “Above everything else he said, that was what I heard, how much he loves you. Seeing you and that little girl, I can see why.” He grinned at her, and Scully stared at him. He held her gaze and nodded. 

“He said you were partners at the FBI, which is already super badass in my book,” he said and she gave him a small smile. “Told me how you two worked together for seven years and then he was gone and away from you. He didn’t remember it, not much anyway, so I’m assuming it was a sickness of some kind?” He looked at her, and her eyes unwillingly filled with tears. She blinked and looked over at Mulder, smiling as she did. 

“Something like that,” she whispered, remembering the terrified hopefulness she felt as she walked into the hospital, the possibility that Mulder was alive propelling her forward. “He … he had been … I wasn’t sure he would live, his diagnosis unsure. But, he did, obviously,” she said and they both laughed. “He woke up and I …” She took a deep breath and wiped her eyes. 

Anybody miss me?” 

“Here,” Scully heard and looked at Tampa as he held out a handkerchief. She smiled through her tears as she accepted it and dabbed at her eyes. “I sincerely apologize. My intention was to inform you of the picture of love his words painted, not to make you cry.” He shook his head, and Scully laughed softly through her tears. 

“No need to apologize. And tears don’t always mean sadness,” she smiled, dabbing at her eyes once more. “Seeing him lying in the hospital, not sure he would be okay … and then he opened his eyes, knowing that the person I loved more than anything, had indeed come back to me, well … even the most talented of artists couldn’t put that picture on canvas and do it justice.” She smiled at him and he put his hands up, before turning away from her as he shook his head. 

“Lord,” he said, as he cleared his throat and snapped his fingers at her, reaching behind him, and holding out his hand. “Gimme the damn handkerchief back!” She laughed as she handed it over and he shook his head again. She watched his back as he composed himself, her eyes flicking to Mulder and Faith, as she waited. 

Tampa finally turned around and stared at her. “I don’t like you anymore,” he said, putting his handkerchief into his jacket pocket. She laughed and he shook his head again, before smiling at her. 

“He and I have been together for a long time, and marriage always seemed … unnecessary as I feel I have been married to him for years. But, things change,” she said, glancing at Faith with a smile. “We don’t need to be married, but I understand the importance of it, especially to him. This wedding though, it’s not going to be a big group of people, I don’t want that. A small reception though …” She shrugged and sighed loudly. “I could possibly get onboard with that idea. Possibly.” She looked at him, and he smiled slowly. 

“Let me show you something,” he said, gesturing for her to follow him. She looked over and caught Mulder’s eye. He smiled and winked at her, waving at her with Faith’s little hand. She smiled as she walked away from them. 

She followed Tampa to a table nearly in the back of the shop and stopped. He turned to her and she looked at him before looking at the table. “Whoa,” she said softly, with a glance back at him. He smiled, and she looked back down at the round table set for eight.

The tablecloth was beige and beautiful powder blue plates with white cherry blossom designs on them, sat atop dark wooden charger plates. The utensils were bronze and laid beside the plates. A white linen napkin was gathered and tied with a bronze ribbon, an artificial cherry blossom branch added to it. Clear tumbler glasses sat in front of the plates. 

Three square medium sized, dark pinkish brown vases held small cherry blossom branches in pinks and whites. In between the vases, were square dark wood tea light holders, with the candles burning merrily inside them. The simple beauty of the table setting was perfect and Scully was taken aback by it. 

“When he came in here,” Tampa quietly said, causing her to look up at him. “He was lost with all the choices. We looked around at all the place settings and talked about the two of you as we did. He told me about your past and at times he would drift off and laugh or shake his head, not always offering an explanation, but moving onto a new topic. As I said already, what stuck out the most was his love for you. I could hear it and even feel it in his words. We looked around for a bit, but nothing was quite right. It wasn’t, and I quote, ‘Scully enough’ for his liking.” He smiled at Scully, and she smiled softly back at him. 

“We stopped looking around, and I offered him a coffee,” Tampa smiled, continuing with his story. “We sat down and I asked him to tell me about you . Who you were, and he laughed. He said you were beautiful, inside and out. You were small in height but large in heart. Brilliant, amazing, and the best friend he’s ever had. He said you loved simplicity, comfort, and beauty. When he left, I looked around and knew he was right, none of the place settings would fit for the woman he described. I searched through my stockroom before I remembered these plates and as soon as I saw them, I knew they were perfect.” He smiled at her and reached for one of the plates. 

“Cherry blossoms are beautiful. We all love to see them blooming. I’m sure you’ve strolled around Washington looking at them, especially if you used to work close by,” he looked at her, and she nodded. She and Mulder had lunch on the benches under their blossoming trees many times. 

“They smell beautiful,” she said softly, remembering one of the last times they ate under the trees. 

A few flowers had blown off and one landed on his leg. He smiled as he picked it up, whole and intact. He handed it to her in his outstretched palm and she smiled. 

Such beautiful flowers,” she commented, as she stroked the petals. “So fragrant and vibrant.” 

“Is it super corny if I say they make me think of you?” he asked her quietly. Glancing up at him, she saw there was a hesitancy behind the joking tone. As though he was unsure how she would respond and wanted an “out.” 

“How so?” she asked, holding his gaze. He breathed out a sigh, and she smiled. 

“Well, aside from the fact they smell wonderful, they are beautiful, small, and delicate,” he said, almost in a whisper, his hazel eyes intense as he watched her. “You are all of those things, but there is more to them, and you, than meets the eye. Yes, one blossom alone seems small, but look at them.” He gestured up and they both looked at the tree above them, heavy with blossoms as it swayed in the wind. 

“One blossom might appear delicate and needs to be handled with care, but when it’s together with its fellow blossoms, well,” he shrugged and looked down at the flower again, while she watched him. His fingers stroked the petals and then her palm. “When the flower has the strength of many on its side, it’s not alone, and the beauty it creates is awe inspiring.” He looked up at her again, and he smiled. 

She searched his face and then leaned in to kiss him. He pulled back in surprise, looking around quickly, and she shook her head, putting her hand on his cheek to hold him still. She smiled slowly and shook her head, as her thumb grazed his lips. 

“I don’t care if anyone is watching us, I am going to kiss you. You can’t tell me all that and not expect a kiss,” she gave him a look and he grinned with a nod. Leaning forward slightly, his lips touched hers and her thumb stroked his cheek, before moving to his neck as the kiss deepened, his tongue softly grazing hers. 

He pulled back and they smiled at each other before he stood up and collected their trash, tossing it away. As he stepped back beside her, she reached for his hand, and he pulled her to her feet. She moved her fingers and interlaced them with his, once again giving him a look. He smiled and she nodded. Holding the flower gently in her other hand, they walked back to the office, only letting go of one another when it became absolutely necessary. 

Shaking her head slightly, she let that memory file back where it belonged. Tampa was grinning at her, and she raised her eyebrows at him in question. 

“You drifted off just like he did. Must have been a good memory since you were smiling the whole time,” he said with a wink at her. She nodded back with a smile. 

It was a good memory. She brought that flower home and put it in her bedroom in a small bowl of water. They made love that night with the faint scent of cherry blossoms in the room. She looked down and tried to stop the blush from creeping onto her face, but Tampa saw it, if his knowing chuckle was any indication. 

Raising her head, he winked again and nodded at the table. “Seems I made the right decision. I am good at this, I truly am.” She chuckled as he set the plate back on the table. He looked at her with a smile, and he sighed. “I don’t know your own past with the flowers of course, but with his description of you and the design on the plate, I knew it was right. Beautiful, strong and delicate simultaneously, as any human being truly is, but all with a quiet undercurrent. You don’t command the attention of the room, yet you have it. You don’t draw attention to your beauty, but every eye is drawn to it. A cherry tree doesn’t bloom with the thought to be better than the other trees, but it goddamn does because of its quiet beauty.” Scully’s eyes filled with tears once again and he picked up the napkin from the table, removing the decor from it before he handed it to her.

“I realize I don’t really know you, but I have always been a good judge of character, and I know quiet beauty when I see it,” he said softly, as she sniffed and wiped her eyes. “Maybe you didn’t plan on ever having a big wedding with a big reception, but I don’t think cherry trees, if capable of thought, would ever have imagined that people would travel hundreds of miles to witness their beauty. I feel the same could be said of you. You don’t want to make a fuss, but you deserve your beauty witnessed.” She was crying, embarrassingly close to weeping, and she needed a second away from him to compose herself. 

Stepping away she wiped her eyes again and took deep breaths to calm down. It seemed silly to plan a reception for the small number of people who would attend and yet, the memory of sitting under the cherry trees with Mulder, the fragrant scent of it as he kissed her, and then the small hint of it in her bedroom later, caused her to understand what Tampa was saying. 

Those moments were beautiful to her and though others would see the plates and table and comment on the outer beauty, she knew the deeper meaning of it, and so would Mulder. In the end, that was all that mattered, her and him, their love and their memories. 

You know, cherry blossoms aren’t just beautiful and fragrant,” Mulder said to her, their bodies humming with pleasure, his head on her shoulder as his fingers trailed up and down her arm. “They symbolize hope and renewal. I’d say that’s a fairly accurate representation, don’t you think?” 

Scully gasped at that memory, laughing before crying once again. Hope and renewal … that sealed it. Turning to Tampa with a watery smile, she nodded. He grinned and raised his fists in the air, causing her to laugh and wipe her eyes once more before she rejoined him, ready to hear any other plans he had.  

_______________

An hour later, they had covered almost everything. Faith had eaten and fallen asleep in her stroller, Mulder having pushed her all around the store as Tampa and Scully quietly discussed plans. She mostly listened as his suggestions were more than she would ever have thought, and they all sounded perfect. Nothing was too elaborate, simply a hint of beauty and elegance. 

He showed her cakes, which he made himself, and she stared at him. “I trust you, Tampa, but this feels like … too much. A nice meal shared with friends, fine. But a cake … and-”

“What’s a delicious meal without dessert?” he asked in astonishment. “Have you ever had a truly wonderful dining experience and not finished it with something sweet and decadent? Oh honey, please don’t say no. You look like such a dessert person. Someone who enjoys chocolate and the flavors it can be combined with to make it just …” He kisses his fingers and closed his eyes. 

“She is a dessert person, don’t let her try to tell you she’s not,” Mulder said, as he walked up and joined them, a light blanket covering the stroller as Faith slept. “I haven’t said much about the plans as it’s all been great, but I’m gonna have to pull the groom card.” 

“The groom card?” Scully asked with a smirk and he nodded. 

“Yeah, I want cake and I know you do too, so shut up and let’s pick one out,” he crossed his arms and leaned forward to look at the folder of pictures. 

“My future husband. Isn’t he kind?” 

“Sure. Fine. Whatever,” he said, repeating her words from last night back at her. With a look to her, she laughed, as Tampa watched them, shaking his head. 

“Seven years y’all worked together, before you got together?” He looked between them and Scully shot Mulder a look. He had the good grace to look sheepish as he looked down at the floor. “Seven years ? I’ll tell you, if Tampa has been there, it would have taken a year and a half- tops.” They laughed and Tampa shook his head. “I’m not even kidding, I would have been your Cupid, constantly shooting arrows at you and loudly leading you in the right direction. I never would have gotten any work done, and I would undoubtedly have been fired.” They all laughed again and then looked at the cakes in the book. 

Tampa eventually drew out a sketch of a cake as they could not find the exact one they wanted. A two tiered cake was necessary for the amount of people who would be attending, about twenty if their list was correct. Neither of them wanted a cake to match the plates, nor any type of wedding topper. 

“If we do a two tiered cake, we’ll go with an eight inch one on the bottom and a six inch on the top, which is generally saved to be shared on the first anniversary date-”

“Oh no, we don’t need to save cake for a year,” Scully interrupted. “I can’t imagine it would be good and it would never last a year in our house. I’d find little fork mark sized bites taken from the back, so it wasn’t obvious when I opened the freezer.” She looked over at Mulder and he shrugged, his palms up, before she looked at Tampa with a nod. 

“As if I wouldn’t find the exact same thing,” Mulder said looking at her and causing her to shrug with a smile. 

“A year. It would have taken a year. Jesus …” Tampa said, with an exasperated sigh and they laughed. “Okay, let's go with the same size cake and the guests can take a slice home. Now the simplest I would do would be two tiered as we discussed. Chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, maybe a blue ribbon around it, cherry blossoms laid across it in spots? What do you think?” He smiled, and Scully nodded as she looked at Mulder. He smiled at her and reached for her hand. 

“See? I was right about this,” Mulder said as he lifted her hand to his lips and kissed the back of it. 

“Shut up,” she said, as she pulled her hand away from him and stood up from the table. She shook her head and they all laughed. 

The wedding date was tentatively set for September 10th, dependent on the church availability, which seemed more likely as it was a Tuesday. They would let Tampa know as soon as possible, so they could make more concrete plans. 

He shook their hands as they readied themselves to go. Scully apologized once again that it was such a small wedding and not what he was probably hoping to plan. He shook his head and held tightly to her hand, making sure she would hear him. 

“The size of the wedding isn’t what matters. I’ve been to weddings that had far too many people and ones with enough to barely fill one small room. The amount of people attending is not what makes the wedding, it’s the love that brought the couple together. That’s what any wedding is about,” he smiled and she smiled back, as he squeezed her hand gently. He nodded as he let go and she sighed. 

Scully looked around again and smiled. “Thank you, for everything. It was a pleasure to meet you.” 

“Just think, this could have been a meeting for an anniversary party if I’d known you both years ago,” he teased and Scully laughed, grabbing Faith’s backpack, ready to head home. 

“Thanks again,” Mulder said, shaking Tampa’s hand once more, his other hand on the stroller. “This will be great, with your help. I’ll let you know about the church and date soon.” Tampa smiled and stepped back, allowing them to walk out of the shop. 

Scully looked back and waved at Tampa as they walked toward the car. She linked her arm through Mulder’s and he smiled at her. “Knew you’d like him,” he said, and she nodded. 

“So, the 10th, huh?” Scully asked as she looked at him and he nodded. “Well, let’s get this show on the road.” They grinned at each other once more, the sunlight catching her engagement ring  just right and making it sparkle. 

A little over a month, she thought. All right, we can do this.