Vignette, rated G
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Disclaimer: The characters of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are the property of Ten Thirteen and Fox, and the fact that I am able to psychically channel them gives me no legal rights whatsoever. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Mulder eyes Scully across the table at breakfast.
It's Sunday -- Sunday morning at Scully's, and I am pretending to read the paper while conducting my habitual Sunday-morning investigation of my partner across her kitchen table. All I can see of her over her newspaper is her lowered eyes, her forehead, and that peach-colored towel wrapped in its usual precarious turban atop her head. If I glance down and to my right I will see one knee protruding from the peach-colored terrycloth robe, and the shapely calf tapering to the slim ankle, and the little foot tucked into the fuzzy peach-colored slipper. She is a study in peach in the mornings, is Scully, before she dons her armor of makeup and hairspray and business suit.
She sits with the window behind her, backlit by the morning sun; I sit across from her, with the window view. It affords me an excuse, a place to avert my gaze when she looks up and catches me staring -- I can pretend I was looking past her out the window, and she can pretend she believes it. We're both perfectly well aware of what's really going on, but it's become our own little silent bit of theatre. I suppose once we had addressed the great unspoken issue of our lives, we needed to find something else not to talk about, and my scrutiny of her over Sunday-morning breakfast seems to fit the bill just fine.
She sighs and turns the page and and tilts her head just a little to sip from her cup. I automatically lift my eyes to check the status of the towel on her head. We are still in the first act of the little drama of breakfast as long as the towel stays put. Imagine my surprise at finding out that Scully, a woman of such exacting, infuriating precision, had never quite mastered the art of keeping the towel wrapped around her head after her shower. At the slight motion of her head, one corner of the towel has already untucked itself in the first subtle peach swell of rebellion.
Staring at that towel, I feel her eyes on me. Sure enough, I've been caught. The single arched eyebrow is eloquent enough even without the additional authority lent it by mascara and eyeliner. I just grin and shake my head, and over the edge of the newspaper that obscures her mouth I can see the smile in her eyes.
I wonder, as I do every Sunday, why it was that I had never imagined the mornings after. My overactive imagination had latched onto Scully almost from the first day she'd marched into my office in her prim little suit. Maybe I was just afraid. I had imagined plenty of nights, but never these mornings, and somehow they've turned out to be the sweetest part of it all.
Maybe it's the ordinariness of it: just the two of us, eating and drinking, companionably quiet in the warmth of the morning sunlight, and of the remembered fire of the night before. Here, we don't have to uphold truth, justice, and the American way, or make the world safe for democracy. Here, I can just forget about the newspaper and study my whole universe wrapped up in a peach-colored robe, sitting across the table with a lopsided towel piled up on her head.
I could use more coffee, but it'll wait -- it won't be long till the towel will slip and usher in the second act, wherein Scully will stand up, and start clearing things away, and wander off to finish drying her hair and get dressed. The coffee will keep. For now, I'd rather just keep pretending not to stare and let her keep pretending she hasn't noticed, and keep hoping that towel will stay put till I've drunk in my fill of Scully for one more day.