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She’s coming over. She’s coming over. Right now. She’s on her way. Small feet pressing the pedals, slim fingers gripping the wheel, eyes on all the other drivers. Woe betide anyone who cuts in. Scully is on the road. He’s shaving, his hands tremble, he nicks himself. Fuck. He dabs a square of toilet paper on it. His hair is clean. He thinks she likes his hair. She touches it often enough. But maybe that’s because he keeps getting head injuries. He likes her hair. However she styles it. He misses the ponytails. He teases her sometimes, on long drives, about the fluffy bangs and the strands that would come loose and she teases him back about his razor cut and the kiss curl fringe and his ties. Always his ties. He misses them. They’re tucked in the bottom drawer. One day, he’ll show her the full collection. His masterpieces. This one’s from my Rhomboid phase. He hopes she’ll laugh. She can’t think he’s any weirder, after all. Or can she? He opens the fridge. There’s a dip he bought from the deli. Spinach and pepper or maybe basil, he’s not sure. Should he have bought something not green? Will it get caught in his teeth. Or hers? Would he have the courage to tell her? Would she let him lick it clean? He lays out crackers. Should he cut carrot sticks? Does he have carrots? He looks in the fridge again. Broccoli. No carrots. Raw florets? No. Just no. He pulls out a beer, unpops the top. Is it rude to have a drink now? He swigs anyway. This one’s from my haven’t had a date in years and is this even a date phase? She’s knocking on the door. Tapping. Rapping. Playing the best percussion ever. There’s a certain beat to it that’s so Scully. To the point. Contained. But with a flourish that’s indefinably feminine. He drains the bottle. Rubs his wet lips with the back of his hand. Opens the door. She’s already smiling. She’s stunningly beautiful. She’s…she’s pulling off the square of toilet paper and it stings and he claps his hand there and she laughs and prises his fingers free and kisses the spot like she wants him whole and uncluttered. Before long she’s dipping crackers in the green dip and he’s watching her mouth. Her teeth. They remain clean and he’s half disappointed and then she’s sliding closer until her thigh is pressing against his and her hand is on his chest and his heart sends her a signal that she reads with a sigh and a plundering kiss and that’s when she says it. Whispers it into his mouth. I love you. Just once. Once is all he needs. Because those three words from Scully may only take a beat to say but when received will last for eternity. As her fingers massage his heart to get it going again her mouth breathes air into his lungs and he’s coming alive. His skin is pinking and his nerves are tingling and his muscles are unclenching. A rebirth. The beginning of something new. This is my Dana Scully admitted she loves me phase. But it’s not a phase at all, he realises. It’s now his life. And then he tells her the same and kisses her back with all his might and he hopes she’ll stay but understands if she doesn’t because she’s her own woman. And she’s his woman. And it’s the perfect dichotomy. Perfect.