A Perfect Summer's Evening II: A Male Perspective

by Mary Kleinsmith (Buc252@aol.com)

Spoilers: Slight ones for Milagro and Detour

Summary: Mulder's Impression of Scully's Plan

Rating: R, I guess

Classification: MSR

Archive: Yes

Disclaimer: Mulder, Scully, and everything related to them belong to Chris Carter and 10-13, with magic added by David and Gillian. I'm only borrowing them.


When Scully suggested we go camping for the weekend, I nearly backed out. After all, everybody knows what a busy social life I have. But a Scully - even as a platonic best friend - anywhere else is better than a whole bookcase full of videotapes at home, so I relented.

Her smile was so enthralling when she heard my acceptance that I nearly melted. I don't get to see Dr. Dana Katherine Scully excited very often, and especially not over something as simple as a hike through the woods and a night around the camp fire, roasting weenies and marshmallows.

That instantly shocked me back to reality. What had I been thinking, agreeing to go along? Just the two of us . . . alone . . . in the woods . . . My mind began to wander places I didn't want it to go, but controlling it has always been a task that was slightly out of my reach.

Just between you and me, I know that Scully and I don't have the same view of each other. She loves me, thankfully, but in a "let's go to a football game" kind of way. Like a buddy. And I'm perfectly willing to accept that manifestation of our relationship. But the truth is, I don't love her in that "best friend" way. I love her in the way that makes me imagine every time I look into her eyes what it would be like to spend my life with this woman. To hold her in my arms late at night . . . to walk her down the aisle . . . to hold her hand and wipe her brow as our first child is born. Oh, yeah - she can do that now; that was the single best thing I have been able to do for her since her abduction.

I shook the unwanted thoughts from my mind just in time to catch her parting words of instruction as she went out our office door. Thankfully, she hadn't noticed my distraction. Now all I had to worry about was where I could get a backpack before Saturday morning.


The straps dug into my shoulders as we tromped through the woods, and I welcomed the slight pain. It kept my mind off other things.

I don't know what made Scully decide to let me go first as we made our way down the trails, but I was grateful for it. I don't know what I'd do if I had to watch that gorgeous, jean-covered behind walking in front of me the whole time. I've been noticing Scully's physical presence for each and every one of our six-plus years together, but add a sparkling personality, a warm protectiveness, and a rapier intelligence to that, and you get one thirty-ish FBI agent falling very hard.

I pushed my feelings back down, once again, and concentrated on the trail. If I couldn't have Scully on my terms, I was more than willing to have her on hers. She's still a great friend and wonderful company - a brilliant conversationalist who can match me point for point on just about any topic.

Which brought me to another thought. Scully is the first woman to be a part of my life who I can talk to. Do you have any idea how hard it is to limit yourself to single-syllable sentences because that's all your date can understand? Okay, so some of them weren't that bad, but close enough for me. Mom always said I was too picky - that as long as a woman was nice, I should forget wanting to have stimulating intellectual conversation with her. And of all the women in the world, the one who could keep up - and pass me by - walked into my office almost seven years ago.

Scully made a comment about the time, and I noted that it was getting dark already. Not that it's early, by any means. But we'd have to set up camp soon if we weren't going to do it in the dark. I felt in my pockets again to be sure the books of matches I'd brought along were still there. I knew from experience that Scully wasn't able to start a fire without them, and despite my bragging to her while we were chasing the Moth Men about being an Indian Scout, I never had any success at it myself.

I looked up through the tree branches, seeing bits and pieces of the darkening sky. I wonder if Scully picked this place just because you can't see the stars from here. Not that she has anything against stars, I don't think. But with stars and night skies come the inevitable UFO sighting, or at least discussion of such. I made up my mind that, for this one weekend, I'd leave all of that behind me and just concentrate on relaxation and rejuvenation. Scully really needed it after Padgett, and I knew I wasn't exactly 100% myself. It had been a rough few months.

I didn't want to dwell on that, so I pushed it from my mind. I seem to be doing that a lot lately - on several subjects. Scouting for stones and firewood wasn't exactly fun, but it gave me something to occupy myself. With four hands, it was quick work, soon allowing me to begin unpacking the provisions.

I nearly snapped the bones in my neck jerking my head to look at her when Scully said she was going to wash up. It wasn't safe - it was dark, and anything could be hiding out in the woods. We never did find the second Moth man. I bit my lip, glad that the darkness was concealing my expression from my partner. She doesn't say it out loud, but that raised eyebrow has communicated to me too many times that she doesn't appreciate it when I'm protective. Okay, so I should have said 'overprotective'.

She handed me the map, showed me where she was going, and then dug something out of her pack before heading off into the woods. Leave it to Scully to worry about being clean in the middle of the forest.

I started the fire, and actually managed to keep it going fairly well. The quiet tranquillity quickly became boredom, and before long I was stretched out on my sleeping bag, chuckling unselfconsciously at one of Art Linkletter's old books. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people are surprised to find that I don't spend all my off time reading mysteries or horror or science fiction. That stuff is just too close to real life for me to sit down and enjoy a book that could come true tomorrow.

My attention drawn by a hooting owl, I was shocked to realize that I'd been reading for a good half an hour - and Scully was still gone. How could it possibly take her more than fifteen minutes to wash her hands and face? My stomach growled with hunger, but I ignored it and climbed to my feet, retrieving the map so I could go find her. If she was hurt . . .

I wanted to run, but knew all that would get me was a sprained ankle or a sore head where I knocked it against a low-hanging tree branch. Damn this photographic memory - all I can see in my mind's eye is snapshot after snapshot of Scully in the hospital, Scully being treated by a paramedic, Scully, lying unconscious in my arms.

The trees suddenly disappeared from around me, and I halted not more than fifteen feet from the water's edge. But something was wrong with my eyes . . .

For there, in the moonlight, was something that I couldn't possibly be seeing. Scully wasn't "washing up", and she wasn't hurt. She was in the water, up to her underarms . . . and her shoulders were bare.

Instead of getting the reprimand I expected for intruding on her privacy, what happened next is a moment that, even if I didn't have a photographic memory, would be etched forever in my mind. Scully arose from the water gracefully, like Boticelli's Venus. The moonlight glistened off each drop of water on her white shoulders, and when the water was suddenly up to only her waist, the very air within me was ripped from my lungs. I couldn't breath - and I didn't care.

I would very happily have taken my last gasp of breath here on the water's edge, and died with the sole memory of her in my mind. And while I wasn't sure if I breathed, I didn't die. But I couldn't move either.

She approached me, every inch of her ivory skin showing in the moonlight, and I thought I could feel the warmth of that skin even from the inches she was away now. Her eyes met mine, and they had a joy in them that I couldn't remember seeing before. I tried to speak, but with my breath, my words were gone as well.

Then Scully did what I hadn't been able to. Not in the hallway outside my apartment, and definitely not in the whole six years we'd been partners. She kissed me. Softly. Gently. I restrained myself from moving the slightest muscle, fearing that, if I did, this apparition would disappear or I would awaken and this dream would end. But it didn't disappear.

I knew I was trembling, even though the last thing I wanted was for her to realize it. Her lips on my chest were more than enough to send a shiver through me like none I'd ever experienced. When she finally spoke, it was to say, "Mulder, you're overdressed." When had I taken off my shirt?

The ability to control my body returned about the same time as the ability to control my mind, but I still stood there and silently, with a minimum of movement, cooperated with her while she removed shoes, socks, and the rest of my clothes. My mind kept telling me not to believe what was happening. It knew better - Scully would never be interested in me this way. But, thankfully, my mind was wrong, for there was no mistaking her intention when she lay down on her towel and reached out her arms to me.

"I love you, Mulder," she said, and my heart leapt with a joy unparalleled. Finally, I could tell her the whole truth.

"I love you, too," were the first and last words I spoke beside the water that night as I matched her smile with my own and lowered myself to her welcoming warmth.

And the earth moved like never before . . .

And we slept . . . .