"Scully, you won’t believe what I just-”
But it’s Mulder who, for once, can’t believe. There, in his office, stands a Scully all right. It’s just not Dana Scully; it’s big brother Bill. Mulder watches the smile disappear off the other man’s face.
“Uhm, hello.” Mulder stands frozen in his doorway for a moment, rationalizing that this is his office and that Bill Scully has no right to stop him from entering. But should he shake his hand? He wonders walking in, very aware of every step he’s taking.
“Mr. Mulder.” Bill nods at him, so no hand shake. Relieved, Mulder hangs up his coat and strolls past Bill, whose eyes follow his every movement.
“You’re not the Scully I expected to see,” Mulder knows he should shut up, maybe even leave under some pretense and look for Scully. “I presume you’re here looking for your sister. Unless you here to discuss any kind of unexplained phenomenon. Then I’m your man.” If only his mouth wasn’t so disconnected from his brain.
“I’m here to see Dana,” Bill informs him evenly, “She told me to meet her here.”
“Oh,” is all Mulder has to offer. She didn’t tell him about Bill dropping by. She didn’t even mention he was in town. “I’m sure she’ll be here soon. She’s usually on time.”
“I know that,” Bill says through gritted teeth, “she’s my sister. I know her.” I doubt that, Mulder thinks, and bites his tongue to keep his opinions to himself.
“Of course you do.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Bill Scully straightens up and Mulder braces himself. He leans his hip against his desk, trying to look calm and cool as a cucumber while feeling like a fish out of water in reality. If there’s one person he doesn’t want to piss off, it’s Bill Scully.
“I merely agreed with you,” Mulder begins and Bill snorts.
“Oh, did you? Don’t pretend you know more about my sister than I do, Mr. Mulder.”
“I’ve worked with her for close to seven years.” If Scully were here, she’d tell him to shut up. Right. Now. Of course she isn’t here and he is not going to shut up.
“Yeah, that’s right,” Bill spits, “you’ve been causing my family nothing but pain for seven years. It’s time to let her move on, don’t you think?”
“Don’t you think that’s her decision?”
“That’s why I’m here actually,” Mulder blinks a few times, quickly, and swallows. Hard. His brain kicks into overdrive immediately; the reason she didn’t tell him Bill was coming is because she didn’t want him to make a scene. Ask her to stay. Who is he kidding? Beg her not to leave him, more like.
“There’s someone I want her to meet,” Bill goes on, oblivious to Mulder’s inner turmoil, “He has something to offer Dana.” He finishes, a smug smile flashing over his face.
Mulder wonders whether or not he could get away with hitting Bill Scully, just a little bit. His fist clenches and unclenches as he searches for the right words to throw at the man instead.
“I’m sorry I’m - Bill? Mulder?” Scully, similiar to Mulder, looks confused when she enters and she glances from her brother to Mulder uncertainly.
“Your brother came for a visit.” Mulder tries to sound enthusiastic.
“She knew I was coming,” Bill reminds him, momentarily ignoring his sister, “Are you ready to leave, Dana?” He asks her.
“Leave? You said you had something to tell me that you didn’t want to talk about over the phone. I have work to do, Bill.” Mulder suppresses his grin as Scully crosses her arms in front of her chest, staring at her brother. Who, at the moment, seems uncertain about what to do with his hands.
“I’d rather not talk here,” Bill clears his throat and gives Mulder a side glance, “I’m sure Mr. Mulder wouldn’t mind if you took a lunch break.” Scully looks at Mulder and he sees the apology in her eyes. The way she bites her bottom lip, the way she considers telling Bill to say his piece and leave them alone, reassures him. She’s not just going to run off without so much as a goodbye. He nods at her and even manages to squeeze out a small smile.
“I have to tell you something, too, Scully.” Both Scullys turn to him, their looks eerily similar, and Mulder decides he’s an idiot. “It can wait until you’re back. It’s not important.”
“I’ll be back in half hour, Mulder. Maybe an hour.” He nods again, waves them off, and pretends to work. He listens to their voices until they’re gone. Mulder knows he’s not going to get anything done until Scully is back and so he waits.
When Scully finally returns, Mulder is engrossed in a game of Sudoko. He looks up and the expression on her face tells him the lunch did not go smoothly.
“So, uhm, what did Bill want?”
“It doesn’t matter. What did you want to tell me earlier?” Her arms are crossed again as she stands before his desk, waiting.
“Bill said he wanted you to meet someone.”
“Mulder, drop it. It’s not important.”
“But he said-”
“Mulder, I said drop it. So what is it?” But Mulder can’t drop it. His earlier doubts return like a speed train and every other thought is pushed aside.
“Are you leaving me, Scully? Bill said that-” Scully’s sigh is so loud it could have been a scream instead. She starts pacing, her heels clicking away on the floor.
“What is it with you and my brother? Why don’t you ask him if it’s so important to you? Now would you please tell me what was so important earlier?”
“It really wasn’t important,” Mulder starts rising from his chair, “Your brother scares me, Scully. Please?” He sits on his desk, his eyes following her partly angry, partly agitated strides.
“If I tell you… will you in turn please tell me whatever it is you were going to say earlier?” Mulder nods eagerly.
“All right… Bill wants to introduce me to one of his Navy buddies, who is not only single, but ready to settle down,” Mulder tries to control his breathing, in and out, in an out, “and he has a sister who works in a hospital which happens to have a position that would be, and I quote ‘the perfect solution to get me out of here’.” Scully rolls her eyes and despite his bouts of fear, Mulder chuckles briefly.
“Do you want to meet this guy? Check out the hospital?” Mulder’s knuckles turn white from gripping the desk way too tightly.
“Mulder, don’t be ridiculous. All I want is for you to tell me what you were going to talk to me about earlier. Is it a new case?”
“What if your brother is right,” Scully groans, “I mean this guy, maybe, you know. He could be Mr. Right.” The words feel like lead on his tongue.
“His name is Mr. I’m-Not-Interested, Mulder. So can we drop it now?” He wants to drop it, of course, but he doesn’t.
“You know, I wouldn’t hold it against you if-”
“Mulder, shut up,” Scully tells him, walking closer, “please.” She adds as an afterthought when she stands before him. He nods, but once again mouth and brain refuse to cooperate and the words are out before he has a chance to think about it, or stop himself.
“What if this guy and this job-”
He doesn’t get to finish this time, because Scully shuts him up. With her lips on this. Mulder needs to moment to register what’s happening and once he does, she draws away again. Rendering him speechless, finally.
“Now Mulder, could you please tell me? Please?” Her hands are on his thighs and he looks down to make sure he’s not imagining things. Did she really just kiss him?
“I thought you didn’t want me,” Mulder marvels, “I thought- when Bill earlier… I thought.”
“I never thought I’d say this, Mulder, but… maybe you should think less.” She smiles up at him and he nods, still reeling from the feel of her lips on his. He wants to feel it again and leans forward slightly. A hand on his chest stops him.
“You’re telling me right now, Mulder.”
“Tell you what?” Everything before the kiss is a hazy memory now. His eyes fixate on her lips and he tries again, his lips seeking hers, only to be stopped by both her hands this time.
“Mulder? You wanted to tell me something earlier?” One of her eyebrows is raised; a clear sign that her patience is wearing thin.
“Oh, right,” Mulder chuckles, “uhm, but don’t be mad, Scully.”
“Mulder, just say it.”
“I just wanted to tell you that… there’s a new espresso machine up in accounting.”