Title: The Cupcake
Category: Vignette, UST, Scully Angst.
Spoiler(s): Post Grotesque.
Summary: Why is Scully the last to realize she isn't
dating a nice, eligible bachelor?
Archive: Gossamer. Others please ask or visit my
site: Pattie's Pocketful of X.
Disclaimer: Taken briefly out of storage for fresh
air--to prevent mildew. Sent back relatively
unsullied to Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen and Fox
Studios. I did this for free, and cannot fathom
a means to violate copyright law.
J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING
OFFICE OF THE X-FILES
FEBRUARY 5, 1996
Scully sat reading the contents of the Mostow file. The
case they'd been presented courtesy of Bill Patterson had
almost consumed Mulder. She remembered fearing that he,
too, would become a dark, vile, and obsessed man with the
accompanying murderous streak that had run through the
veins of Mostow when he took a male model's life after
an art class. The images she had found in Mulder's
apartment had been just as evil and ugly as Mostow's
charcoal sketch, the sculpted figures Patterson had been
molding, and the face on the wall of the jail cell, colored
in blood. She knew she would never view gargoyles in the same
light as she had when watching architectural films in high
school. She startled at the voice which she should not have
"I'm sorry, Mulder. I was just... "
"I told you when we wrapped that case up, I'm okay. Scully,
we've read that over and over again, the case is closed, and
we can rest easily. I asked if you wanted a coffee?"
Scully still felt a bit shaky. "Sure. I'll just put this
aside and go over some messages."
"Donuts?" At least he was able to smile. He was all right,
and things were returning to normal. That was generally the
way things went a few days after those stressful cases.
"Yes, I think I'd like a couple. Look, it was just... "
"I know. When I found out Patterson had become, well, what
he had become, I was too wrapped up trying to put myself in
the killer's shoes. Which brings me to another subject. What
"Me? I'm fine, Mulder. As long as we do our jobs and the
sun still rises, I'm fine. Don't worry about me. Maybe
I'll be finished reading these messages before you get
back." She smiled. That was a good thing.
"Ten minutes. Tops." He grabbed his coat and left Scully to
She couldn't help thinking about all the things that had
happened in the past few months. Mulder had escaped death
by the skin of his teeth linking a long buried rail car
to alien-hybrid experiments, learning of the Anasazi
connection to the conspiracy. Then, there was the train.
She tried to keep him out of that, but he had nearly died
in a train car explosion. Another supposed link to his
conspiracy theory. She certainly didn't save her partner.
How could she continue to try if someone else always had to
be there while her part of the work kept her away from him?
Scully shook her head and began reading office memos.
Most of them were routine, and many of them were phone
messages the switchboard had written out. The email was
pretty routine as well. There were a couple of reminders
that Scully was due for target practice, Mulderwas invited
to a seminar on 'Paranormal Phenomena Among Adolescents in
America". One message really hit home."Live a Little--Love a
Little". Now, this peaked her curiosity. It seemed to be
aimed straight at her. Was it a religious message? She'd soon
As Scully read the text, she began to feel a bit empty.
"Has Love Found You? Don't Wait For It to Come to You.
Claim Someone Before Someone Else Does." That was only the
introduction. The rest of the message was obviously from her
friend Ellen, who often tried to match her up with someone,
and frequently worried that the her son's godmother would
rather work than love.
"Fine. I'm not with anybody. I'm okay with that. I
By the time she had answered most of the other messages
for her and stretched to ease her tense shoulders,
Mulder was back. "Sorry for the delay, Scully. There
was a long line-up. Your coffee, and I got a dozen this
time. So, anything I should know about?"
"Yes. I put your memos beside the phone, and you have a few
emails. Nobody's run in with an assignment, thank God."
"Well, that means we're off the road for a while. Just you,
me, and the file cabinets full of mysterious anomalies and
flying saucer reports." He hadn't missed the solemn look on
Scully's face. "Hey. Care to talk about it?"
"It's nothing, really. Nothing a dose of caffeine won't
help. I guess I'm still recovering from that last trip.
I'll be fine." She didn't let on that she felt lonely as
hell even though she was in the room with an attractive
man but had to stick to protocol and her convictions. She
felt damn lonely. That feeling had been following her
around for a couple of years.
"I wonder what happened after Bambi Berenbaum found out she
had so much in common with Dr. Ivanov... "
Scully really disliked that woman. She wasn't quite sure of
the reason. "Probably driving each other bugs, I imagine."
She calmly sipped her coffee without looking up from a
memo she had been reading.
Mulder had a puzzled look on his face. "What's that all
about? He's a scientist, she's a scientist... "
"She's sexy... C'mon, Mulder. Admit it. She has brains and
"Well, sure. But I hardly knew her, Scully. If I didn't
know better, I'd think you were jealous."
"Oh, please. Don't go that route. I know you don't date.
Forget I said anything. I was joking. Get it? Driving each
other bugs." *What does he mean jealous?*
Mulder sat back in his chair. Whatever it was, it was
probably none of his business, he figured. "Maybe you need
some time off. These past few months have been rough on us."
"I know. I'm sorry, Mulder. You're right: it's been too
hectic." *But my love life sure hasn't.*
DANA SCULLY'S APARTMENT
The TV was blaring away after Scully had dozed off with
a book on her chest. "So, don't wait another minute. Call
now. Mr. Right is just around the corner." She clicked
the remote and the commercial was no more. *Wait a
minute, here. It's Valentine's Day in a couple of weeks.
No wonder I've been so wound up. It's only a day, and I
really don't have time to waste over things that haven't
happened. Bath time. Early morning*, she reminded herself.
As she was about to pull herself off of the couch, the
phone rang. She decided to let the anwswering machine
handle it, and picked up a plate on the coffee to put it
into the kitchen sink.
"Dana, Honey, it's Mom. The church is having a Valentine's
Dance this Friday. We'd love to see you there. Call me soon.
I love you." Her mother was trying to play match maker, and
she probably suspected that there was some attraction between
her and Mulder, but Scully wasn't going to give in to this.
After her nice, hot bath, Scully climbed into bed at 10:55
and hoped sleep would come swiftly. She didn't like some of
the pre-sleep sounds and images in her head. Twilight sleep
dreams were so intrusive, and if her leg jerked her awake
she had to forget those things and let sleep come. Well, it
wasn't going to come that easily tonight. The images and
conversations, obviously brought about by the email, the
talk about Bambi Berenbaum, the dating service ad and her
Mom's call weren't that easily forgotten.
Suddenly, she was in her fifties, sitting at a desk reading
over reports from the agents under her supervision, and
reading the riot act to two younger agents, a male and a
female who were working in the X-Files office. They were
bickering, but their body language told her they were closer
than friends. She was berating the male agent for going off
on his own, when she noticed that the agents closely
resembled Mulder and herself. She awoke to the phone
"Scully." There was a note of frustration in her voice.
It was Mulder. Who else would it be? "Are you okay? You
never sound like this at this time of night."
"Yeah, I was dreaming, I guess. What's going on?"
"I was thinking about earlier today. Are you sure you don't
want to talk?"
"Mulder, it's almost 11:30, I'm really tired, and I'm fine.
I'll see you at the office tomorrow. I'm a big girl. Don't
worry about me."
"You're sure?" Mulder wasn't quite convinced by Scully's
words. It was her tone that seemed... almost sad. "Is
there something you haven't told me? Maybe you should see
"Oh, he gave me a clean bill of health. If that's what
you're worried about, I am totally clear of the cancer."
"Okay. Well, see you tomorrow, Scully." He wasn't sure he
should believe that everything was fine, but he let it go
"Yeah. Good night." After she got comfortable again, she
did fall asleep, but there were scattered dreams of cinnamon
hearts, childhood conversations with Melissa over cute boys,
chocolates and Valentine's cards, lace doilies and hand made
OFFICE OF THE X-FILES
FEBRUARY 6, 1996
All the hullabaloo over Valentine's Day in the media had
not gone unnoticed by Mulder. He knew how special it was to
women, and since Scully was a woman, and hadn't evenhad time
to nurture any relationships outside of work, he was beginning
to realize this may have been what was bothering his partner.
This particular morning, he left his apartment early and stopped
at a donut shop for coffee and the usual donuts, but his eyes
were drawn to a display of pink frosted cupcakes with a little
heart placed atop each one, sitting on paper doilies. He bought
a couple of cupcakes, and a couple of donuts to go with the
coffee, and took them into work.
Scully arrived at 8:30 in a feverish rush. She hung her coat, set
her purse down and began to apologize. "Sorry I'm late.The alarm
didn't go off and then there was a pile up on the road. What's
the plan for today?"
"Whoa. The plan is for you to relax. Catch your breath,
Scully. Coffee first."
"Thanks, Mulder, but it was my turn to buy... I forgot that,
"Yeah. Now I know you need some time off. Instead of the usual
donut, I saw this and it seemed to have your name on it." He pulled
the cupcake from the bag, and set it on his desk, placing the doily
beneath it. Her reaction was worth the effort.
Scully smiled. Was that a genuine smile? "I don't know what to say,
Mulder. Thank you." Somehow, the thoughts and images of the previous
twenty-four hours seemed more symbolic of her feeling that she was
sailing solo, and she wasn't feeling that vague sense of emptiness
anymore. Most certainly her mother loved her, and she felt that in
her heart. Perhaps she had just forgotten that her concern for Mulder
after the case with Patterson had gone unnoticed. Wait. Mulder had
gone to great lengths to show his care for her after the abduction,
and after the cancer had invaded her life. She had taken his caring
for granted. This care was deeper than just backing up a friend or
co-worker. Yet, it wasn't 'let's-get-to-it' romantic involvement.
This was a different kind of affection. It felt wonderful. It was
just what the doctor ordered. It was endearingly sweet. She felt
"Well, I saw it, and actually I wanted one, so I thought I should get
one for you, too. To make things fair."
"Fair," she echoed. "It is a little early in the month."
"Carpe diem, Scully. Live a little. Think of it as a break from
"Well, I'd say it is, Mulder. But I don't buy the idea that you
wanted one and decided I should get one too. Has my mother called
"Well, no. I just thought you needed... "
"You're sweet, Mulder." Scully sipped her coffee and smiled.
"Don't take it the wrong way, Scully. I'm not coming on to you or
"Of course not. But you're sweet."