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Futures Past 03: My Funny Valentine

by Arvy

Futures Past 02:
The Light of Day
Home Futures Past 04:
Crossover

RATING - PG
CATEGORY - C(rossover), H(umor)
SPOILERS - Christmas Carol/Emily
KEYWORDS - X-files/Highlander crossover, Mulder/Scully UST

SUMMARY

Innuendo, a pinch of humor, a touching gift, a dash of angst, an excellent recipe for Valentine's day.

DISCLAIMER

Not mine. Unh-hunh! No, siree, bob. All characters belong to Fox and company. Wait, isn't Fox itself a company? Hmm... Anyway, they're not mine, and I'm only borrowing our beloved heroes for a little stroll down Valentine's lane. I'm sure they'll be returned unchanged (well, not that much anyway) to 1013, and CC. Oh, and I guess the lady and the kid belong to me.

Author's Notes

Oooh! A third one in the series. Finally. Thanks a bunch to all of you who sent in your feedback and comments for the previous ones. They were much appreciated.

This one can probably stand completely on its own. I added it as part of the series cause the next one I'm writing refers to stuff that happens in here. So you can read this without reading the previous two, especially if you're looking for a quick, warm & fuzzy M & S bonding piece. But, of course, you want to read the previous two, don't you? You need to... (Imagine a soothing, mesmerizing voice asking you that, and the answer should just pop into your head:) If you can't find them, email me at unmai@bigfoot.com and I'll be happy to forward you a copy. Also, all my other stories, missing parts, etc. can be found on Gossamer or at my website at http://unmai.cjb.net/arvy.

I added a little explanation for Mulder's gift in the end notes, in case you want to look it up. You'll know what I'm talking about when you come to it (no, the smaller one:) in the story. I myself had no clue what it meant until I went and looked it up. I've seen it in a couple of places before, and I thought it was pretty romantic.

This one is definite UST. No kissing yet, no declarations of undying love, but you anti-shippers might start getting nauseous. That's all the warning I'll give.

Finally, the nag section. Feedback, the sustenance of starving writers. I'd love to hear from all you readers out there. Email me at unmai@bigfoot.com, tell me what you thought. All comments and criticisms welcome. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it.

And now, for your viewing... uhh... reading pleasure, we proudly present...


My Funny Valentine...

Dana Scully's Apartment
Thursday, February 12, 1998
8:23 PM

The phone rang in the living room. Dana Scully rushed out of the kitchen to answer it. "Hello... Oh, hi mom... What? My cell phone? That's a relief. I was sure I'd lost it." She paused, listening for a few seconds before interrupting her mother. "No mom, don't bother. I'll come by tomorrow after work and pick it up, if that's okay with you." She waited again before saying, "Ok, I'll see y... what did you say?"

She sighed. She'd tried to keep her conversation short, hoping to stay away from this very subject. "No mom. I don't know if we're doing anything for Saturday... Mom, we're friends, partners, that's all. Nothing more. Besides, he's too scatterbrained to probably even remember." She sighed again. She did not want to have this conversation with her mother. She reached out and rapped loudly on the coffee table. "Mom, I think somebody's at the door." Chicken!, a part of her screamed back. "I gotta go. I'll talk to you tomorrow. Bye." She hung up before her mother could protest any further. Why does she have to do this every year? She sighed, leaning back in her couch, trying not to think about the next day. Finally, she got up and went back into the kitchen.


J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building, Basement
Friday, February 13, 1998
8:05 AM

Dana Scully walked down the hall towards the office. She thought back to her conversation with her mother the night before, and dreaded going over to her house later. Maybe I should put it off till Sunday, she thought briefly, but immediately pushed the thought out of her mind. Don't be childish. You're not that insecure. Besides, you can't afford to be without your cell phone for that long. What if something important comes up? she asked herself. However, she did allow herself to think about what her partner may do for Valentine's day. Knowing him, he probably had a date all lined up for the night, probably some busty brunette with whom he could make eye contact without getting a crick in the neck. She sighed, wishing for the millionth time for that elusive extra foot or so that nature had denied her as she reached the door. She was about to turn the knob when she heard Mulder talking on the phone. Her eyes widened as she realized what he was saying.

"Dammit, Frohike! I'm not going to tell you what I got her. It is supposed to be a surprise, you know. So stop asking." Mulder was practically shouting into the phone when he heard the doorknob turn. Expecting his partner to walk in, he hissed, "She's here. Goodbye, Frohike! I'll talk to you later." He heard the line disconnect, and was about to hang up when he realized that the door hadn't opened yet. His momentary panic at being caught was instantly wiped away by a mischievous grin spreading across his face. Shit! She probably heard that last part. Well, Scully, I'll give you something to listen in on. Aloud he said, "Oh, all right, I'll tell you. Stop begging already."

Outside, Scully gently pulled her hand away. Good, she thought, he hadn't heard her. She placed her head against the door, preparing to eavesdrop on her partner's conversation.

Mulder couldn't resist a silent grin as he said in as straight a voice as he could, "I found her the perfect gift, Frohike. A Thrustmaster Deluxe... Yeah! One of those. There was an ad for it in a video I saw. I was watching it a couple of nights ago, and as soon as I saw it, I knew that monster was the one for her."

Scully's eyes widened as she heard him go on.

"The color...? Oh, it's all black... sleek too. I didn't think the one in cream looked realistic enough. This one looks and feels just like the real thing... Yup, complete with feedback vibrations. God, I can just imagine the hours of pleasure she'll get using that joystick."

Hearing just the slightest emphasis on that last word, Scully gulped. He wouldn't... he didn't. Oh God, what's he thinking! This time he'd gone too far. There's someone else, she told herself, feeling a small sense of relief, but a pang of jealousy at the same time. Yes, that's it. He has a girlfriend, and the gift's for her. He never said it was for me, right? That's got to be it, she assured herself. Just because I don't have a social life doesn't mean he doesn't either. She leaned back in to hear the rest of the conversation.

"She needs it," Mulder was saying. "I can tell. She's needed something like this for a while now. Frankly, I don't know how she got by without one all this time. You know, just using your fingers doesn't cut it. You need to feel the experience, you know, wrap your hands around one of these. She'll be flying in no time." He paused before continuing, "Mind numbing pleasure, no doubt about it."

He let out an exaggerated sigh. "I can picture it now. Scully, at home, no one else but her, her hands wrapped around its shaft. Maybe I'll drop in Saturday evening and help her try it out. God, I'm getting excited just thinking about it."

Ohmigod, it is for me. Scully pulled back from the door, feeling a heady sensation come over her. Suddenly the hallway felt extremely hot and stuffy. That's it! I'm not listening to anymore of this. Plastering a fake smile on her face, she reached once more for the doorknob and turned it.

Mulder saw the door beginning to open, and muttering a quick but loud, "Talk to you later," hung up the phone. He looked back up just in time to see his partner walk in. She looked like she was trying to smile at him. But it looked more like a grimace than anything. He allowed himself a hearty but silent congratulations. Damn, I got her but good.

Neither of them said a word as she walked over and sat down. Both of them busied themselves with paperwork, but Mulder could feel the tension gradually building up. Every few minutes, he felt her stop what she was doing to look up and stare at him. Finally, he looked up himself, just in time to catch one of her nervous glances. He smiled to himself. Usually, he was the one who was caught staring. Now that the situations were reversed, he couldn't help carrying on the charade for a while longer. He raised his eyebrow in a silent, Can I help you? just like Scully always did, his face the picture of innocence. He was rewarded by the deep crimson rising on her cheeks. She hurriedly looked back down to the reports lying in front of her, a guilty look on her flushed face.

I wonder how long I can hold off? Poor thing, she looks like she's about to jump out of her skin at any moment. He finally relented, thinking, I guess I've had my fun for today. He stood up and walked over to the filing cabinet.

Scully kept her face down, following his movement out of the corner of her eyes as he walked past her to the back of the room. Where's he going now? Hearing him cough, she turned to see him pulling two packages out of the top drawer of one of the cabinets.

He walked over and placed them on the desk in front of her. "Tomorrow's Valentine's Day, and I got you a special something. I couldn't wait to give it to you."

I'll bet you couldn't. "Two presents, Mulder?" she croaked out, thinking, The big one looks about right for... but the small one. No, I don't even want to think about that one. She saw him smiling, but she could see a mischievous gleam in his eyes. Oh God, Mulder, don't make me do this, she pleaded silently.

"Go on," he urged, pointing out the larger package. "Open them. This one first. It's something you've needed for a while now." He almost couldn't hold back the laughter as she glared at him hard enough to drive nails through concrete. He pushed the box forward, encouraging her, acting oblivious to her obvious discomfort.

Best to get it over with quickly, she thought as she reached for it. Her hands shook as she lifted it and peeled back the wrapping. I'll make you pay for this, Mulder, she vowed, so help me, God, I swear I will.

Mulder could see the color slowly drain from her face as she began to strip away the layers of wrapping. Watching her eyes intently as she finished with the last layer, he caught the abrupt change in her expression, progressing from near panic to confusion to relief before it finally settled on a small smile. He heaved a silent sigh of relief himself, Good, she's not too angry.

She looked up from the gift she held in her hand to the room brightening smile spreading on Mulder's face. "Thrustmaster Deluxe analog joystick for IBM compatibles," she read the label on the box. She pinned him with a glare, putting as much anger into it as she could, which wasn't much at the moment. "You knew," she accused. When he nodded, she continued, "You knew I was outside. All that...," she made a circling motion to indicate his fake telephone conversation, "... was for my benefit?" Again he nodded.

"Didn't your mother teach you it's a bad habit to listen in on other people's phone calls," he teased, shaking his finger at her. At her exasperated smile, he chuckled, "Sorry, Scully. But when I heard the doorknob, I just couldn't resist. You should have seen your face when you walked in. The whole thing was worth it. Happy Valentine's Day, Scully."

She smiled at him, then noticed the small box still lying on the table. She pointed to it. "What's that, Mulder? Or should I be afraid to ask?"

"Well, actually, I got the joystick for your birthday. I thought it would go well with that airplane game I got you last year. But I have a few weeks of vacation time coming, and Personnel warned me that if I didn't take it within the month, I would lose it. I was planning on taking it starting next week. When I saw this opportunity, I thought this would be the perfect time to give you your gift early. This," he said, pointing to the small package, "is your real Valentine gift. Go on, open it. I promise, you won't be embarrassed."

She cast a wary glance at the package before looking back at him. Seeing the anticipation in his eyes, as well as the fear of rejection lurking behind his hazel orbs, she sighed and picked it up. She quickly unwrapped it to reveal a small velvet box. She carefully opened it, and was struck speechless by what lay inside. She lightly traced the outline of the ring that lay inside, brushing her fingers around the hands encompassing the heart, stroking the crown etched into the side of the ring. A Claddagh ring... did he know what this means? She looked up to see him staring back at her expectantly. Her eyes misted as he reached in and removed the ring from its base. He lifted her right hand in his and brought the ring to her finger. She saw him start to slide the ring on, heart turned away from her, when he looked back into her eyes. He seemed to reach a moment of decision as he pulled the ring back and turned it so the heart faced inwards, towards her. He does know. Her breath caught in her throat as she brought her other hand to lay atop his, covering his hand with hers.

"The perfect gift for the perfect person. Happy Valentine's Day, Dana, for real this time," he whispered. He saw the slightest glint appear in his partner's eyes. Before the situation could escalate into something he didn't think either of them wanted to face right then, he quickly changed the subject. "So whatcha doing tomorrow night?" he asked, his thoughts masked by the humorous expression he always hid behind. Coward, the rebuke clattered around in his head as he continued, "Got a hot date or something?"

Typical Mulder. It was just like him to start something so sentimental and then chicken out immediately. What are you so afraid of, Mulder? She sighed as she thought about what he'd asked her. "Nope, not really."

His heart lifted a little at her reply, although the reason for it eluded him at the moment.

"I guess it's just going to be me and my joystick," she said, throwing his earlier remark back at him.

He smiled at her, "Then what do you say to a night of videogames, bad Valentine movies, and pizza. We can break in your gift. I have a new space shootemup you might like... Hell-bender?"

"I've heard of it..." she answered thoughtfully. "Is it anything like Fury?"

"It's supposed to be better, although I've only played the trial version so far." He flashed her a quick grin, an embarrassed look on his face. "You're going to think me crazy, but the reason I bought the full version was cause the computer voice reminded me of you."

"Mulder, I already think you're crazy, but that was sweet. And, I don't mean just the videogame," she said, fingering her newest piece of jewelry. "Thank you, Mulder."

He nodded solemnly, accepting her thanks in the spirit in which it was offered, before letting out a small chuckle. "So whatddya say? Is it a date?" he asked, waggling his eyebrows.

Date? Did he say date? Be serious for once, Mulder. She tried to cover up her errant thoughts by considering the opportunity being presented to her. "Ok, Mulder, but on one condition. My car died on me today morning, so I had to catch a cab to work. I left my cell phone at my mom's yesterday. I was planning on going by after work to pick it up, but I realized I have some shopping to do as well. So you are going to be my personal chauffeur for the day tomorrow. Deal?"

"Your wish is my command, milady," he replied with a gentlemanly bow.


Sweet Darling Valentine...

Annapolis Mall
Saturday, February 14, 1998
11:35 AM

"Slow down, Scully. You're gonna run into someone if you don't." Fox Mulder smiled as he watched his partner trying to get the maximum mileage possible out of her short strides. She was going fast enough to outpace him, which was not an easy thing to do.

He thought back to the events of that morning. Whatever she had talked to her mother about when she'd gone to retrieve her phone must have really gotten to her. She couldn't get out of there fast enough. Since then she'd been rushing from one place to the next, first to the mall, then store to store, then to lunch, and now, ice-cream of all things.

"But, Mulder, this place has the most amazing mint ice-cream," she said plaintively.

God, he thought, she looked like a teenager when she said that.

"Not mint chocolate-chip, not peppermint, but real, honest-to-goodness mint," she continued. "Do you know how hard it is to find just plain mint ice-cream?"

"You know, Scully, I would never have figured you for a mint addict. Strawberry, maybe chocolate, but not mint."

She spared him a glare as she hurried him along. "Just because I'm a redhead, everyone expects me to live on strawberries, use strawberry shampoo, wear strawberry perfume. Ugh, I hate stereotypes, and I'm not particularly fond of strawberries either."

Mulder pretended to look shocked. "You don't like strawberries. Aww, c'mon Scully. Everyone loves strawberries. It's... it's," he searched for a word to express what he meant before deciding on, "tradition." He shook his head, smiling.

"Well, I don't. And it's it, and that's that. Live with it, Mulder," she said, pulling to a halt in front of the ice-cream stand.

Sliding into the line behind his partner, Mulder scanned the menu display. Just as he'd decided on the cookies and cream, he was startled by a flurry of movement in front of him.

Scully felt someone pull on her slacks, just as they both heard the little girl.

"Mommy, I wanna ice-cream."

Looking down, Scully couldn't hold back a gasp. Emily! She forced herself to blink back the tears as she took a closer look. No, not Emily, but she looked, oh, so much like her. She felt Mulder's hand on her shoulder. Realizing she must have voiced her thoughts louder than she'd intended, she placed her own hand over his, silently telling him that she was okay. Kneeling down, she took the little girl's hands in hers.

"Hi sweetie. I think you've mistaken me for your mommy. What do you say we go find her, okay?" She lifted the girl up. "Say, what's your name, sweetheart?"

"I'm Sarah," she replied proudly. Suddenly her voice dropped to a trembling whisper as she darted nervous glances around the crowded mall, "I want my mommy."

Just then both agents heard a frantic voice, "Sarah..., Sarah, where are you?" Looking around, they saw a woman a few yards away, calling the girl's name.

Spotting her daughter, she hurried towards them. Both of them did a double take. At first glance, she looked a lot like Scully. They had the same flaming auburn hair, and even their facial features matched somewhat. No wonder the child had mistaken Scully for her mother.

"Oh thank God!" exclaimed the woman as she reached them. "I set her down for a second and she ran away." She reached out to take her daughter from Scully, chiding her gently, "Naughty Sarah. How many times have I told you not to run off like that? You scared mommy, darling."

"I'm sorry, mommy," the little girl whispered, hiding her face in her mother's neck. "I just wanted some ice-cream."

"There, there..." She hugged the child. Looking back at the couple standing in front of her, she thanked them for looking after her daughter. "Little kids...," she said, "they seem to have so much energy. Listen, we were headed here anyway. Can I treat you guys to some ice-cream, by way of thanks. It's the least I can do."

Scully looked over at Mulder, then turned back to the woman and shrugged, "Sure, that would be great. By the way, I'm Dana, and this," she said, pointing to her partner, "is Mulder."

"I'm Karen, and this bundle of energy," she replied, patting her kid, "is Sarah."

They bought their ice-cream and retreated to one of the tables near the stand.

"Mulder...," Karen said thoughtfully after they'd sat down. "That's an unusual name."

"It's my last name. I'm just not too fond of my given name."

"Oh!" she said, considering this as she licked a swath of ice-cream off her cone. "Kinda like MacGyver, huh?"

Scully smiled at that.

"Yeah, something like that. Say, I noticed that you and Dana look a lot alike. It's easy to see how Sarah mistook her for you," Mulder said hastily, hoping to draw the conversation away from further discussion of his name.

"Uh-huh, I noticed that too. Uncanny, isn't it?" replied Karen.

Scully shrugged, "They say everyone has a double somewhere in the world, a doppelgänger. Statistically, it's entirely possible."

"I suppose, but still...," Mulder started.

"So how old is Sarah," Scully interrupted him, looking over at the little girl. She reached over to wipe a small speck of ice-cream that had found its way onto the child's nose.

"She's three," replied Karen, a measure of pride in her voice. "She's a darling, isn't she?" She looked lovingly at her daughter as she said this.

"She certainly is," whispered Scully.

"Say, are you guys... together," Karen asked suddenly.

"No," both of them replied. "We just work together. We're just friends," Scully went on, a flush creeping up her face. "It's just that my car broke down, and he offered me a ride..."

I offered...? Why, the little...

"Ah!" Karen shrugged, crunching the last bits of her cone. "Well, it was fun meeting you two, but I gotta get going. Maybe we'll run into each other again sometime." As she picked up her daughter, she thought, Friends, my ass. That's all the world needs, a couple of lovesick friends too dumb to let each other know how they feel about each other. Well, it's not my problem. Aloud she said, "Sarah, say goodbye to Auntie Dana and Uncle Mulder."

"Bye, Sarah."

"Bye, sweetheart."

"Bye, Uncle Mulder, Auntie Dana," Sarah waved at them as she walked away, leaving the two agents to finish their ice-cream in silence.


Mulder's car, en route to Scully's Apartment
12:10 PM

Mulder looked over at his partner as she stared out the window at the road. But he knew that the scenery rushing by was the farthest thing from her mind. He ran the moment when the little girl had pulled on Scully's leg over and over in his mind, and his partner's reaction at being called Mommy. How cruel could the world get? She'd lost Emily barely a month ago. Although she didn't talk about it, he knew it still weighed heavily on her mind.

"Scully, do you want to talk?" He had to do something to break the silence.

"What's there to talk about, Mulder? She reminded me of Emily. It's only natural. It hasn't been that long, you know."

"I know, Scully, but it helps to talk about it. It's not healthy to keep it all bundled in."

"Is that the Oxford psychologist talking?"

"Maybe, or maybe it's just a friend reaching out to someone he thinks needs his help. Let me in, Scully, please." He reached out to grasp her hands in his, squeezing it reassuringly.

She didn't respond. Instead she just looked back out the window.

He sighed, "I know how it must feel. Everyone dreams of a family, marriage, kids..."

"How can you know, Mulder," she shouted at him, "How can you possibly know how I feel? You're not the one who's had their ability to have children ripped away from them. You're not the one contemplating eternity alone. So don't you dare try to tell me you know how it feels, cause let me tell you, Mulder, it's nothing like what you can imagine."

"Oh, I think I can imagine a lot, Scully," he shouted back. No, don't shout at her, she can't possibly know, he told himself. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, he continued in a calmer voice, "I've never told anyone this..." His voice lowered even further, "I can't have children either, Scully, so I do know how you feel." He pulled his hand away and placed it back on the steering wheel.

"What... How?" Scully looked at him with her eyes wide.

"I'm sterile. Ergo, no kids, no family, not in my future, anyway." He sighed, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have told you. It's not your problem."

"Oh, Mulder. I'm so sorry I shouted at you. I had no right..." She placed her hand on his, reciprocating his earlier gesture.

Mulder shook his head, "Like I said, Scully, not your problem."

"You were the one who said it wasn't healthy to keep one's emotions bottled up. Now it looks like the shoe's on the other foot." She chuckled, "Hunh! So, here we are, two lost souls without a future, too scared to let anyone else comfort us. What are we going to do with each other, Mulder?"

"Well, I guess we'll just have to depend on each other, won't we?" He smiled, glad that the moment of tension had passed. "Hey, we're almost at your place, Scully. Get ready to get your ass whipped at that airplane game."

"In your dreams, Mulder, in your dreams," she smiled back.

They rode the rest of the way in silence, each of them thinking about lost opportunities and might have beens, and all the airplane games they would never get to play.

The End


End Notes

Okay, in case you're wondering about the section titles, the whole story is called My Funny Valentine. It's just that the headings seemed somewhat appropriate for each section. If anyone notices, they're awfully similar to Sinatra's song, except for the second one, which I changed to something more fitting. Have I confused y'all enough? Anyways, no infringement is intended. And I probably won't ever do the section heading thing again.

I really, really tried to inject a little humor into this piece. But I'm not all that good with innuendo. The scene at the beginning actually did happen in real life. Me and a friend managed to thoroughly embarass another friend before we started laughing and gave it away. And they do say that you should write about what you know. I hope I managed to get the humor across. Also, about the strawberry thing. Everyone I know absolutely loves them. Personally, I've never cared for them. Plus, I've always liked mint(ice-cream, not shampoo). And, yes, it is hard to find plain mint ice-cream. Believe me, I've looked. But, since I've never been up north, the scene at the mall was completely made up.

Sheesh! Can these end notes get any longer? You're still here? Wow! Okay, discussion time. About that last line. How many of you actually got what I wanted it to mean? They say hindsight is 20/20. Here, I thought I was being so clever, but no one I showed the story to got it. So, to the 3 or 4 of you who did get the reference, thank you for confirming my creative genius. All you others, rest assured, I'm looking at my creative writing course schedule as I'm writing this. And since I myself hate not getting all the in jokes, the reference was to the airplane games parents play with their children to get them to open their mouth to eat. You know, Rrrrrrr... open the hanger, the plane's coming in. So, how many of you are going, "Ohhhhh!"?

About the videogames. I don't know that M & S would actually be the types to play them. But, according to the IMDB, GA was the voice for that game, and I thought it might be neat if Mulder caught the similarity of the voices. BTW, the games are by Microsoft corp. Again, no infringement is intended.

Next, Mulder's confession. Okay, I know he'd never have that problem in the show. But, in my universe, it fits in so nicely with what happens next. Is that enough of a hint? Of course, to find out, you'll have to stay tuned.

About the Claddagh Ring. This ring, depicting two hands clutching a heart, complete with a crown, epitomizes the expression of lasting love and eternal friendship. The heart symbolizes love, the hands friendship and the crown loyalty or fidelity. Worn on the right hand with the heart facing outwards means that your heart has not yet been won. Worn on the right hand with the heart facing inwards shows you have friendship and love under consideration. But worn on your left hand with the heart turned inwards it means two loves have joined forever. This is quoted pretty much as is from a couple of internet sites.

Finally, we come to the end. I'm forcing myself to stop here, otherwise these notes are gonna run longer than the story, if they haven't already. I don't know about most of you, but I actually enjoy reading about the author's thoughts while they were writing their stories. I just hope I haven't turned anyone off with these long notes. But, I do put them at the end, so you're perfectly welcome to skip them if you want. All the really important stuff is at the top anyways. Oh, and before I leave you guys with the chronology, a reminder. Hit reply! It's as easy as point, click, type a couple of lines, send, voila! Even just to say you read it. Or to tell me you actually managed to make it through all these end notes.

Futures Past Chronology:

01 - The Awakening(Oct 1997)
02 - The Light of Day(Jan 1998)
03 - My Funny Valentine(Feb 1998)

Futures Past 02:
The Light of Day
Home Futures Past 04:
Crossover