Cold Pizza, Warm Pepsi, and You

by dtg

Title Cold Pizza, Warm Pepsi, and You
Author dtg
Website Category vignette, post ep Chimera
Rating PG
Disclaimer If the characters were mine, I'd be living in Malibu, too.
Summary Pizza in the car by a lake in the moonlight. Archive Just let me know where.
Authors Notes: If you haven't seen Chimera, this story won't make much sense.

April 5, 2000

"Hold the capers, Mulder. You said 'Hold the capers'."

"I don't like capers. They look like... rat turds." His shudder was only half feigned.

"You were having a five-course meal-- minus the capers-- while I was freezing my ass off and eating stale pizza."

"She made breakfast, too. Bacon and eggs. Muffins." He paused for dramatic effect and lowered his voice. "She even ironed my shirt." He added an eyebrow waggle and a mysterious smile.

Snort. "Well, while you were playing house in Vermont, your partner was busy catching your totally non-paranormal, non-homicidal serial evangelist."

He chuckled. "And doing a damn fine job, I might add."

She wasn't quite able to hide a smile. "Thanks. I think."

"He went in as a man and came out as a woman." Mulder washed down a mouthful of cold pizza with a swig of lukewarm diet Pepsi, making a face at the taste. Scully obviously saw it as a comment on cross dressing.

"You have a problem with transvestites? That surprises me, Mulder." She gave him an odd look and popped another slice of banana pepper into her mouth. He loved how she ate pizza. One ingredient at a time.

"I don't have a problem with transvestites." He watched her finish off the peppers and start on the pepperoni. Being a practical woman, she saved the cheese for last.

"Really? Then, tell me why you look like somebody just sprinkled capers on your pizza?"

He looked properly offended. "Scully, not everything is what it appears to be."

"Now where have I heard that before?" She pressed an index finger pensively to her lips.

"Let's just say I have some practical experience and leave it at that, okay?" He knew he was toast even before her eyes lit up.

"Oh? What experience?" She tossed a crescent of pizza crust into the box on the backseat, daintily licking tomato sauce from plump pink lips. "Mulder?"

"What?" He jerked his attention from that lovely mouth and found himself looking into midnight blue eyes. Rolling, midnight blue eyes.

"What experience?" She enunciated each syllable as if English were his second language.

"Forget I mentioned it."

"In your dreams. "

Time to change the subject. He looked intently through the windshield at the moonlit lake and the star-filled sky above it. "I think it's time to call it a night. You were right, Scully. Wasted trip."

"It's not even midnight, Mulder. What's the rush?"

He looked at her. "You didn't want to come out here in the first place. Now you don't want to leave?"

She smiled at the windshield. "It's a gorgeous night. I'm enjoying the view." She shifted her gaze back to him. "All of it."

"Scully!" His voice cracked like a twelve-year-old boy's.

"And don't think you've made me forget my question."

He winced before he could stop himself.

"Okay, now I know there's more to this." She crossed her arms. If they had been standing face to face, she would be tapping her foot. "Give, Mulder."

Deep sigh. "Well, it's not what you're thinking."

"You have no idea what I'm thinking."

"You gonna let me tell this or what?"

She raised her hands in mock surrender. "Please continue."

"I've been known to be a little gullible on occasion."

"No. Really?"

"Are you gonna keep interrupting me?"

"I'm sorry, but you asked for that one." She didn't look the least bit sorry.

"I'm trying to find a way to say this without giving you the wrong impression."

Scully tipped her head and studied his face for a moment. "Mulder, you don't mean..." And then her eyes widened beneath arching brows. She was, he decided, getting way too good at this. "No. Way."

"Way."She was struggling with this. He could see it in her eyes. "But before you jump to any conclusions, it was just somebody's idea of a practical joke."

Giggles. God, he loved it when she giggled.

"Sure, laugh at the most humiliating experience of my life."

She pressed her lips together, making a valiant effort to look serious. It didn't work. "I'm not laughing at you, Mulder, I'm--"

"--laughing with me? If you look closely, you may notice that I'm not laughing." But he was smiling. How could he not when she was making that delightful sound?

She pulled a sober face and folded her hands primly in her lap. "Okay. I'm not laughing. Tell me what happened."

He eyed her warily for a moment. "You have to promise to keep this just between you and me."

She made a zipping motion over her mouth. "My lips are sealed."

"They better be."

Exasperated sigh.

"Okay, okay. There were a couple of Academy instructors who must have thought I was a little too cocky for my own good."

"A little?"

He ignored the bait. "They said they needed my help to catch a serial rapist who favored very tall women. I was supposed to sit in the guy's favorit bar and try to tempt him into revealing himself."

"Dressed as a woman? They couldn't have used a real woman?"

"Have I mentioned it was my first week at the Academy? And I was just so damn eager to please?" She rolled her eyes again. "What?"

"I'm just having a very hard time picturing this."

"Which? Me in a dress or wanting to please my superiors?"

"Both. So, did you catch the rapist?"

"There was no rapist. They parked the surveillance van across the street from the bar and sent me inside to wait. It took me about an hour of whispering into the mike in my 'cleavage' and getting no response before I went outside to check. The van was gone. They must have taken off as soon as I was out of sight."

She pressed her lips tightly together, but a smile kept turning up the corners. "How did you get back to Quantico?"

"I only had a couple of dollars on me and it was at least a twenty dollar cab ride back to the dorm. I finally just showed my Academy ID to the first cabbie I found and he took me back to Quantico."

"Is that it?" She was quivering with the suppressed laughter.

"The same guys who had dropped me off on my 'mission' were waiting in the lobby with a Polaroid camera."

She lost it. That musical giggle gave way to belly laughter that brought tears to her eyes before she got herself back under control.

"Have I mentioned what an unattractive woman I make?"

"I can imagine. So, what happened to the pictures?"

"I kept expecting them to show up on the internet."

"Oh my God. Did they?"

"I'm sure it's only a matter of time."

She chuckled softly, then reached over and squeezed his hand. "Mulder, you continue to surprise me. I was going to say 'you keep unfolding like a flower', but ..."

"I appreciate your restraint. It was a flowered dress, by the way."

"I figured."

She gave his hand another squeeze, then let it go. "One of these days, I'll have to tell you about the first time I had to arrest someone. You're not the only one with embarrassing stories to share." She started picking up the debris from their pizza dinner and stuffing it in the bag it had come in.

"Ready to go home?"

She stopped tidying and looked up at him. "You're really giving up on the UFO?"

He shrugged. "It was a long shot anyway."

Scully set down the bag and looked at him. "You made the whole thing up, didn't you?"

His best "Who me?" expression apparently served only to confirm her hypothesis. But instead of the chastising look he expected, he found himself on the receiving end of a rather sultry smile. "Just wanted an excuse to sit by a moonlit lake with your best girl, huh?"

She was flirting with him. For the second time in an hour, no less. So he leaned in and kissed her for the second time in his life, whispering the words against her lips, "Not in the widely understood definition of the term."


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