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31 Days of Spooky

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Friday, 1 October


Scully shouldered open the basement door and gave a soft grunt. The files and folders piled in her arms thudded onto Mulder's desk in a barely controlled fall. Mulder looked up, startled.

"Hello to you too, Agent Scully!" he joked.

"Sorry," she sighed as she stretched out her arms. "I was about to lose my grip."

"Ah, it had to happen eventually, working down here with me. But, honestly, I'm surprised you've held it together this long."

"True. I don't know why I put up with you." Mulder chuckled as Scully's eyes twinkled. She gathered up the dropped files, headed over to the bench, and immediately noticed a small paper sack topped with a fiery red leaf. She quickly stacked the files and folders to one side and picked up the leaf, turning to Mulder with one eyebrow quirked.

He shrugged. "I was coming back past the Capitol. A few of the trees have started to change." He paused as if considering whether more information was required. "I love this time of year."

"I know you do. Thank you, Mulder." Scully smiled at him and then carefully attached the autumnal offering to the closest pinboard. Then she narrowed her sparkling blue eyes and looked back at the paper sack waiting for her on the bench. She glanced at Mulder and grinned. Even as she raised the package to open it, Scully could tell what it was by the heft and the aroma. She lifted out the apple and cinnamon muffin and took an enormous bite. The expression on her face affirmed Mulder's impulse to bring her back a treat. He'd do a lot more to see Scully look at him like that.

"I figured you might be hungry, but I wasn't sure what time you'd be back from your meeting," he explained.

Scully finished her mouthful before replying. "Thanks, partner. Excellent decision." She headed over to the coffee pot. "Coffee?"

"Yes, please."

"Sorry, I should have offered to share the muffin with you before I devoured half of it, but it smelled too good," said Scully without looking remotely sorry.

"It's all yours," Mulder replied. "Happy October."

"You celebrate the strangest things," Scully murmured as she handed him a coffee. She looked over at the leaf on the pinboard, a bright little burst of nature in their mundane surroundings, then turned back to her partner. "Happy October, Mulder."