TITLE: Out of the Drawer
AUTHOR: Shoshana
EMAIL ADDRESS: shoshana1013@excite.com
DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Gossamer, Spookys site, Xemplary,
etc.
SPOILER WARNING: Eighth season episodes through Patience.
RATING: PG
CONTENT STATEMENT: MSR
CLASSIFICATION: VA
KEYWORDS: Mulder/Scully Romance
SUMMARY: Post ep for Patience.
DISCLAIMER: These characters do not belong to me.
NOTE: Huge thanks to Keleka for beta reading!

Out of the Drawer
By Shoshana

Unpaid bills scatter onto the floor of my apartment, more damage
done, more debris I'll have to collect later. I have left a trail of
destruction in every room of my apartment as I rush from bedroom to
kitchen to foyer, unable to slow my frantic pace, the frenzied
beating of my heart.

I have made a mistake, an egregious mistake I must remedy post
haste, for there will be no rest for me tonight without its reversal.

I've been lying in bed for hours now, thinking about how foolish my
seemingly simple action was. Why, why would I do such a thing? Have
I lost my mind so rapidly, so thoroughly since he's been gone?

I tear down the back stairs, crashing into the wall when my untied
sneaker pulls me to the concrete floor. Grudgingly I tie both laces
tight, then nimbly race down to my car.

I pause at the driver side, fumbling for my keys. My hands tremble
as I unlock the door; my legs wobble oh-so-slightly as I slide onto
the seat.

I am angry, I am furious at myself. One too many concessions in far
too short a time. I have made my truce with Doggett; I have allowed
him to intrude, to insinuate himself into my life.

It's only temporary, only for the best I remind myself. What else
could I possibly do? Even Skinner can't rectify this--it's above his
head, an order from on high.

I can accept that. I can deal with a fleeting alliance, an
obligatory one I am determined to honor. I can't work without
backup, right? I'm not allowed out in the field alone, correct?

We'll see how long this uneasy commitment holds up--I'll make every
effort to work with this man. He seems honorable enough, despite our
unfortunate first meeting.

I'm willing to excuse his behavior that day. Not because I trust
him now, but because I know who pressured him into it. Kersh had to
be behind that little ruse Doggett attempted; a font of
disinformation if there ever was one.

So, I'll ignore our first meeting, ignore subsequent arguments we
had in Arizona. The man has shown himself to be reliable enough the
one case we went on in Idaho. He watched my back, I watched his. I
can trust him that far, but not much farther. There will always be
distance between us. He is not my real partner, no one can ever
replace...

I floor the gas pedal, gliding through the silent streets of DC.
Traffic is light at three a.m. No one to examine my folly at this
time of night. I know I can accomplish my task within minutes--I'll
slink in and out of the Hoover building--and still have time to go
home and catch a catnap before work.

The parking garage is deserted. A few vehicles still occupy their
rightful places, stagnating until their owners return from out-of-
town assignments or lovers' trysts. I know. I've left my car there
for those very same reasons.

I had always imagined something better for us, something beyond
work, beyond the responsibilities we bore as constant burdens. I
wasn't surprised it took so long for us to find one another, only
that it has been stolen away so swiftly, so completely, in so brief a
period of time.

Would I be racing around in the middle of the night if it were not
so? If an equal and most precious portion of this new life within me
were not from him?

I won't blame it on hormones. I just won't.

I made a mistake. I must mend my cockeyed universe tonight...

I encounter no one as I pad down the dimly lit hallways. My brief
trip in the elevator found me turning away from the highly polished
walls, unwilling to confront the remorse in my eyes.

I open the door to the office, a single light still illuminating his
desk. I left it on last night, wishing I were a hundred miles away
from all the memories, all the happiness and sorrow we experienced
here.

I walk slowly to the desk, brushing my hand over the worn down
woodgrain only time could achieve. I don't expect to be here very
long. I don't need to sit down--but I do.

I need to catch my breath, need to consider why I did what I did
earlier--why I must reverse it now.

I ease the drawer open slowly, flinching slightly as it squeaks in
the quiet cavern of the basement. My hand is shaking. I didn't
expect this, didn't expect the emotion to be so profound.

As my fingers make contact with the cold metal, I can no longer
choke back my tears. I repressed them all day, unwilling to share my
sorrow with a stranger.

They come now, witness to my penitential act. I should never have
put you in a drawer, Mulder. You don't deserve that. I don't want
you there.

I gently place the nameplate to one side of the computer, neither
hidden from my line of sight nor misleading to visitors seated on the
other side of this aging desk. My own nameplate is front and center,
borrowed from my research office on the third floor.

I search my pockets for a tissue. I always seem to have one in my
jeans and tonight is no exception. I won't walk out of here with
tell tale streaks beneath my eyes.

I skim my thumb over the indented letters one more time, then flip
off the small work light I'd left on last night. The emergency
lighting from the hallway is illumination enough as I make my way out
of the office.

I must have been temporarily insane, Mulder. You, *we've* worked so
hard to stand our ground, to keep the files open. How could I slip
that most tangible symbol of your existence away so soon?

The moon is full tonight. I notice it for the first time as I drive
home at a much slower pace.

The city still sleeps... maybe I can too...

fin

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