July 20, 1999
Mulder produced the red bandana out of thin air, gently shielding
her eyes with it as she stood next to him in the elevator. She
jumped at the sensation, bringing her hands up to pull it away,
stopping short of doing so.
"Mulder! Is this some sort of silly sex game you're planning?"
He continued to secure the loose knot at the back of her head and
replied, "No, nothing like that,
Scully. But I'd be happy to oblige you later, if that's what you'd
like..." He wove his arms around her from behind, kissing her slim
throat exactly where he knew it would have the most titillating effect.
They were in his building, on the way to the top floor, as far as
she knew, and she couldn't guess what he had in mind. He'd asked her
to drop by at eight p.m., casual dress, plan to stay the night. That
wasn't difficult, they'd been involved romantically for two weeks and
already a good percentage of her wardrobe had migrated to his
closets. Well, maybe they hadn't been sleeping together the *entire*
two weeks, but she certainly felt like their romance had begun the
day they got back from July Fourth break.
"Is this another very special, early or late birthday
said, humoring him, fondly hoping that no other building residents
stood outside the now creaking elevator doors.
"No, just a little celebration I came up with."
He gently escorted her out into the hallway, and placed her hand
the railing of a small set of stairs. They reached the top of these,
and stood on a small landing as he drew out a set of keys and opened
the door directly in front of them.
Once he swung it aside and secured it with a doorstop, she could
smell suburban D.C. air, a mixture of summer flowers, green foliage,
and swift settling car exhaust. The fresh, organic smells
predominated, as a gentle breeze diligently cleansed the atmosphere
of manmade dreck.
"We're on the roof, right?"
"You are so perceptive, Scully. I think you'd do well
unknown phenomena for a living... Whoops, you already do that,
She swatted him, close enough to find some sensitive part of his
anatomy, even while blindfolded.
"Ow! No need for that!" She giggled out loud at his
cries of pain. We're almost there." He drew her around to the other
side of the roof and with great ceremony unhooked the scarf from her
"Oh..." she said, rooted to the spot, lips open in wonder.
"Like it?" He nuzzled her throat tenderly, enjoying her
A simple table, covered with a crisp, white cloth, stood before
A bottle of champagne rested in a cooler, a white towel encircling
it, retaining its chill. Shiny silver lids concealed a variety of
foodstuffs, arranged in gracefully fluted bowls. Wooden folding
chairs waited for their occupation, and two tapered candles graced
the far side of the crowded tabletop.
"Mulder, who would of thunk you were a romantic?" she teased him.
He squeezed her gently from behind, kissing her cheek and jawline,
before turning her in his arms and meeting her lips briefly.
"I always was. I just didn't have an object of my affection to
romantic about...till lately."
"Oh, so you objectify me?"
"Well...maybe that's what I was doing all those years before I
touch you like this..." he swept his hands over her, and she
shivered in response.
"You can't possibly be cold, Scully. But, if you are..."
She cut him off, pulling his head down for another long kiss.
they broke for precious air, she said, "This is so nice. But why?...
is there something I've forgotten about?"
"There are actual two occasions to commemorate tonight. One,
been together two weeks today... Well, at least I felt that the day
we came back from vacation was significant to me... And also it's the
thirtieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. I thought it
might be nice to sit underneath the night sky, wonder about that a
He led her over to the table and chairs, seating her in one of
He lit the two tapers and started opening the bottle of champagne.
"I was only five, Mulder. I don't remember all that many
My whole family gathered in the living room for it, quite a feat
considering how small our quarters were then. You tell me everything
about that night for you... I'm going to have to rely on your
excellent memory skills, alright?"
He popped the cork on the bottle with a flourish, light spray
back in their faces. As he poured the liquid into two glasses, he
started to tell her what he could recollect, "Well, it was a big
event for our family, even though Samantha was only five and didn't
understand exactly what was going on. We tried to explain to her how
the astronauts could fly through space in a very fast plane. And
then orbit the moon until it was time to send two of them to the
surface, to explore it."
"We fudged the description of some of the stuff that was harder
comprehend. Fortunately, she understood enough to enjoy herself. I
was eight and things were going pretty well between Mom and Dad, at
least as far as I could tell. We all sat in front of the television
set, just like your family, till 10:56 pm, when Neil Armstrong first
stepped out onto the moon's surface. We were definitely up past our
bedtime, but the anticipation kept us awake."
"We were in San Diego and it was 7:56 so it was just about the
time for us. I think I must have been just like Samantha, I couldn't
really grasp how they got up there, but I understood where they were.
I already knew where the moon was up in the night sky. Our Dad was
really big on teaching us the constellations, so even at five, I knew
that the astronauts were someplace special. Plus Bill and Melissa
were soooo antsy and expectant. I knew that this something I should
pay attention to."
"You know, Scully, once you started to reminisce, I could tell
you can see that night almost as clearly as I do. I'm sure we both
filled in the technical blanks later, when we studied the moon
landings in school. To me, though, the nuts and bolts of the moon
landing aren't that important, even now. I just remember that we
actually acted like a family back then, instead of the dysfunctional
mess that was left after Samantha disappeared."
She took his hand in hers and said, "It's been twenty-six
Mulder. Do you think Cassandra was telling us the truth? Do you
think it's really Sam that she saw?"
He stroked her hand lightly, exploring the intersecting lines of
palm, then paused to consider his response. "I don't know anymore.
I want to believe Cassandra. But nothing she says can be
corroborated. No one else can give me the unadulterated truth. The
only truth I'll believe now... has to be a DNA test, proving her to
be my sister. Whatever has been done to her physiology, if anything,
I don't know how you could fake that. Scully, I know we'll find her.
It may take years, but we will. I only hope you can put up with me
He pulled his chair around to her side of the table, so that they
could embrace with ease, balancing champagne glasses in one hand,
stroking cheeks with the other.
"Anyway, aside from the food, that's not the end of the
Scully..." he said, hoping to intrigue her.
"Oh, what's next? A slide show?"
"Very funny, Ms. Scully. I'll show you now, O.K.? We can eat
on, maybe even feed one another..." He winked at her lasciviously,
and she couldn't help but blush.
He got up and walked around a low wall running next to their table
to retrieve something. With childish pride, he showed off a new
telescope he had splurged on for the occasion. It sparkled in the
candlelight, assisted by weak light of a first quarter moon.
"I know the moon's not full tonight, but it's pretty clear out.
should be able to see something interesting." He lowered the
instrument to the floor with care and walked back to the table,
resuming his seat, pouring them more champagne.
"Mulder, I don't know what to say. You must have planned this
"Naw, for three weeks." She gave him a questioning look.
nothing had happened the last two weeks of our lives, I was planning
on seducing you tonight. Just about the same scenario, too. I guess
going away to Las Vegas the weekend before last kind of speeded
things up a bit."
"So you think I would have fallen for your charms?" she
He looked down at his shoes, and said sheepishly, "Well, God,
hoped so. I mean I wasn't planning on taking you right here on the
table, Scully." She smiled at him playfully, catching his eyes.
"There were alternative plans of action, or inaction, as the case
"Well, I think you might have been surprised, Mulder. I'm a
*active* woman. Maybe I would have seduced you..."
He snuggled closer to her, kissing her on the cheek and whispered,
"You did that the day I met you Scully. I've just been too stupid or
stubborn or oblivious to know that till lately. I never thought I'd
ever be good enough for you, but you just stuck around no matter how
many times I pissed you off or pushed you away."
"I guess things just would have gone on as they were. But
Philip Padgett said you were already in love, I had to take that to
heart. Either you were unable to recognize that feeling, and
couldn't act on it, or you thought that I didn't care for you that
way. So really, I've been brooding over this for months. I didn't
have the courage to ask you over here till recently. And I always
gave myself an out, an excuse, that I was just bringing you out on
the roof as a close friend, not someone I wanted to become involved
"You don't want to be my *close* friend?" she teased,
glass and running both hands up his t-shirt.
He whispered, "Oh, that too, Scully. That too."
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