NOTICE: Deslea's URL is now http://www.deslea.com, 
or http://fiction.deslea.com.  Email address
is now deslea@deslea.com or drjudd@catholic.org.
This information supercedes all other information
in this file.

Borderline *R* 
Deslea R. Judd 
Copyright 1997 
This work is based on The X Files, a creation of Chris Carter  
owned by him, Twentieth Century Fox, and Ten-Thirteen  
Productions.  Fox Mulder, Dana Scully, Walter Skinner,  
Margaret Scully, Sharon Skinner, Pendrell, and Ellen  
remain the intellectual property of those parties and are used  
without their consent and without commercial gain.  Liam  
Mulder, Elena Hereford, Father Peter Herald, Susan Skinner,  
and Diana Coulsen are my creation and may not be used  
without my permission. 
Spoilers:  Seasons 1-3; Season 4 to Paper Hearts.  In  
particular:  3, One Breath, Colony/Endgame, Anasazi, Piper  
Maru/Apocrypha, Tunguska/Terma, and Paper Hearts. 
Time Frame:  After Paper Hearts. 
Category:  Story, Romance/Angst. 
Rating:  R for a dirty word here and there and pretty low-key  
sex (no throbbing appendages, I promise!!!). 
Warning:  MSR, but nothing too fluffy for the most part. 
Note:  Not linked to my Offspring/On The Outside universe  
or Lyrics Of The Heart. 
Summary:  A variation on the abusive-boyfriend fanfic  
challenge.  Scully and Mulder are in a relationship, but the  
tragic legacy of his childhood is Borderline Personality  
Disorder - a disorder which leaves him with uncontrollable  
rages.  Details the duo's struggle to avert a dometic violence  
situation.  Does NOT glorify the struggles of domestic  
abusers.  Be gentle with this one as some aspects of it are  
semi-autobiographical.  The rest of this work will be posted,  
at least one part per week, over the next couple of months. 
The Story So Far:  M&S are married with a five month old  
son, Liam.  Scully finds Mulder in an uncontrollable rage in  
which he harms himself.  It becomes clear this has happened  
before.  Scully discusses Mulder's condition with her mother,  
making clear that he is in psychotherapy and that they fear  
the FBI might use his condition to shut down the X Files if  
they got wind of it.  Later, Mulder agrees to get help for his  
immediate coping problems.   
Clarification:  I usually use American language in my fanfics  
(on the basis that that's how Mulder and Scully speak); but I  
refuse to call a cot a crib.  A crib, in my opinion, is a  
cradle...so Liam sleeps in a cot.  Sorry!!! 
Fan mail is always appreciated!!!  My e-mail is  
drjudd@tig.com.au. or drjudd@catholic.org. 
Archivists, feel free to add this to  
your collections; but be sure to let me know.  This and my  
other stories may be found at  
http://home.primus.com.au/drjudd (shameless plug). 
Borderline 2/? *R* 
Deslea R. Judd 
Copyright 1997 
	"Dana Mulder?" 
	Scully rose and extended her hand.  "I'm Dana  
Scully Mulder." 
	The woman took it, shaking it vigorously.  "Diana  
Coulsen.  Come on through."  She pointed to a door down  
the corridor. 
	They walked into a small office.  "How did you find  
out about us, Mrs Mulder?  Do you use Mrs Mulder?" Diana  
asked, shutting the door.  She went to a small table where  
tea- and coffee-making implements lay waiting.  "Coffee?"  
she added. 
	"Dr Scully," Scully corrected mildly, "but Dana is  
fine.  Our parish priest, Peter Herald, referred me."  She took  
a plastic cup from the pile.  "Tea, but I'll make it," she  
added.  In her experience, coffee drinkers made horrible tea. 
	"Annapolis North," Diana noted, stirring her drink.   
"You're a fair way from home.  Take a seat," she added. 
	"I work in DC," Scully explained, sitting in the  
offered chair. 
	"What do you do?" Diana asked, picking up a file  
and notepad. 
	"I'm a forensic scientist with the FBI," Scully  
replied.  "I'm on maternity leave, but I'm hoping to go back  
	"You've recently had a child?" 
	Scully nodded.  "Liam.  He's five months old." 
	"Has Liam had any health problems?" 
	"Gastric reflux, that's all." 
	"Still breastfeeding?" 
	"He's sitting, vocalising, all those sorts of things?" 
	Scully nodded.  "Yes.  He's within normal limits for  
height, weight, and development." 
	Diana nodded, still writing.  "Dana, why don't you  
tell me about the rest of the family?" 
	Scully sipped her tea.  "Well, my husband is also  
with the FBI.  We've worked closely together for five years.   
We've been married for a little over a year." 
	"They let you work together at the Bureau?" Diana  
asked, curiously. 
	"Yes," Scully replied.  "Our boss has been  
supportive - he was our best man, in fact.  My husband had  
had a titular headship of our section, which consists of the  
two of us; and I was promoted to co-head.  Our work and  
family policy allows for relationships among those of equal  
	"Do you have any other family nearby?" 
	Scully put down her cup.  "Yes," she said.  "My  
mother is in Maryland.  She's been fairly involved with us.   
My husband's mother has a certain amount of contact - she  
lives in Massachussets - but frankly she can be more harm  
than good.  She encourages my husband to be very  
dependent on her, but doesn't follow through by being  
dependable; leaving me to pick up the pieces." 
	Diana nodded.  "Okay.  Let me start by telling you a  
little about our facility, Dana.  Bethany House offers a  
number of services, the primary one a battered women's  
shelter.  We also offer counselling and referral.  I understand  
it's the latter you're interested in?" 
	Scully said cautiously, unsure of her ground, "I  
understand from Father Herald that you work with couples  
wishing to avoid domestic violence and remain together." 
	Diana regarded her for a moment.  "Couples is the  
operative word, Dana.  He has to work with us." 
	"He will," she said, with more confidence than she  
felt.  "I promised to find someone first." 
	"Well, I think I'm probably the only one you'll find.   
Most workers in domestic violence advocate immediate  
removal of the offender from the household - as do I in all  
but a few instances."  Diana paused.  "Why don't you tell me  
about it, Dana?" 
	"My husband suffers from Borderline Personality  
Disorder.  He's prone to severe aggressive episodes," Scully  
explained.  "He hasn't hurt myself or our son, but he has at  
times hurt himself as a strategy to avoid hurting us.  He's in  
psychotherapy, but I - we - feel he needs help now to cope  
with these episodes.  His psychiatrist is great at getting  
inside his head, but she hasn't been so great with providing  
coping strategies."  Scully shrugged slightly. 
	"A common problem with psychiatrists," Diana said  
wryly.  She regarded Scully for some moments.  Finally, she  
said gently, "Dana, I see a lot of women who have grand  
delusions that they can save their partners.  They will cling  
to this belief in the face of extraordinary abuse.  And I'm sad  
to say, it is delusion.  Men who abuse, or have a tendency  
towards abuse, can't be cured by love alone." 
	Unexpectedly, Scully bowed her head, her shoulders  
shaking.  She put her hand to her mouth, holding back  
sudden wracking sobs.  Startled, Diana put her hand on her  
shoulder.  "Let me finish, Dana.  I'm not giving you a death  
sentence here - or even necessarily one on your marriage.   
What I was going to say is that they have to want it, too -  
they have to understand that it's wrong for its own sake, not  
just because they might lose their wives over it.  They have  
to be very motivated to not abuse.  From what you've told  
me, your husband fits that description.  You said he hurt  
himself to avoid hurting you - that's interesting, and not  
something I've come across before.  That strikes me as very  
	Scully took a breath, shocked by her own sudden  
reaction.  The stress of the situation, the fears she held for  
her marriage, were far nearer the surface than she had  
realised.  "It was," she agreed after a moment, "but it was  
probably also a cry for help in its own right - it's very  
common for borderlines to self-mutilate, both to let off steam  
and as a cry for help." 
	Diana frowned, nodding.  "I'll be honest with you,  
Dana - I don't have much experience with BPD.  I'm a  
psychologist, not a psychiatrist.  I'll have to do some reading.   
But with that proviso, I am happy to meet with your  
husband."  She paused.  "There is something I want you to  
think about over the next few weeks, though." 
	"What's that?" Scully asked. 
	"Dana, if your husband has BPD, this is going to be  
something you have to deal with for the rest of your life.  It  
may get better - but there will probably never be a time that  
you can breathe out and say to yourself, 'This is never going  
to happen again.'  There will never be a time when you can  
stop worrying or stop keeping watch for danger signs.  You  
will always have this hanging over you.  It will be stressful,  
sometimes frightening or heartbreaking.  You have to be  
ready for that.  So, with that in mind, I want you to think  
very carefully over the coming weeks; and to ask yourself:  Is  
it worth it?" 
	Slightly unnerved, Scully nodded.  "All right.  I'll  
think about it." 
	She rose and left. 
	When Scully arrived home, she went upstairs to the  
study, where she found Mulder working.  She was just about  
to say something when she realised he was talking to the  
	"C'mon, c'mon, just hold out for two more minutes.   
PLEASE, just hold out for two more minutes...just ten more  
	Scully looked over his shoulder at the computer  
screen.  He was retrieving his e-mail, and there were ten  
messages left to go.  Obviously the modem was playing up  
again.  For the last week it had acquired a mind of its own,  
clicking off at the most inconvenient of times. 
	Her brow furrowed.  It was a very human thing to  
do, talking to a machine - hell, she did it frequently enough  
herself.  And yet, there was something different about the  
way Mulder was doing it.  There was a certain...desperation  
about it - as though he genuinely believed he could stay on- 
line by strength of will alone. 
	She looked from the computer screen back to  
Mulder, and realised he'd turned around and seen her.   
There was a little grin on his face.  "Go ahead, say it," he  
challenged mildly. 
	"Say what?" she asked casually. 
	"What I'd say if it were the other way around." 
	"I don't understand," Scully lied. 
	Mulder gave her a withering look.  "Okay, Dana.  I  
spy with my little eye, a neurotic behaviour beginning with  
	Scully relented.  "It did strike me as being a little  
like magical thinking." 
	"Of course it did," he replied crisply.  "That's what  
it was.  You don't have to be embarrassed about noticing  
borderline behaviours, Dana.  I know when I'm doing them.   
It doesn't bother me for you to know it, too." 
	"You know sometimes," she corrected good- 
	"What do you mean?  When have I not known?"  
Mulder replied, surprised. 
	"Well, you don't usually know when you're being  
self-destructive.  You put noble terms like seeking the truth  
or standing up for the truth onto it.  Like when you went to  
Tunguska - the chances of you getting out alive were  
practically nil.  And what about when you slept with  
Kristen?  I mean, quite aside from the fact that she could  
very easily have killed you, she was a walking AIDS risk,"  
she pointed out. 
	Mulder's eyes widened.  "How the hell did you  
know about that?" he demanded, too stunned to lie. 
	Scully smiled faintly.  "I was with you.  It doesn't  
matter, Mulder; I understood."  She turned away.  "Anyway,  
that's not what I wanted to talk about.  I went to Bethany  
House today.  There's a woman there - Diana Coulsen - who  
wants to work with us.  Will you let me make an  
appointment for the two of us with her?" 
	Mulder nodded.  "Sure.  I spoke to Elena about it -  
she thinks it's a great idea."  Seeing that his messages had  
arrived, he logged off.  "See?  It did work," he added with a  
	Scully snorted.  "Well, I'm glad your psych thinks  
it's a good idea - but what about you?" 
	Mulder looked at her, perplexed.  "Well, of course I  
do.  We've had this discussion.  I don't want to live like this.   
I don't want you to live like this." 
	Scully smiled faintly.  "I know this is hard on you,  
	"And I know it's hard on you.  So I guess we're  
	"I guess we are."  She looked at him, a sudden glint  
in her eye.  "How long do you think we have before Liam  
wakes up?" she asked casually. 
	Mulder wheeled across to her, still sitting in the  
swivel chair.  He put his arms around her.  "Long enough,"  
he replied, just as casually. 
	Scully bent at the waist to kiss him, and he pulled  
her across his lap.  "Have you ever made love on a swivel  
chair, Agent Scully?" he asked cheekily. 
	"No," she replied, the corners of her mouth  
twitching.  "It sounds most uncomfortable." 
	Mulder nodded thoughtfully.  "I'm inclined to  
agree, so I'm proposing we move to the desk." 
	"Still sounds uncomfortable," Scully said, amused.   
"Whose desk were you proposing?" 
	"Well, yours is already tidy.  I'll admit, it lacks the  
romance of clearing the desk with a sweep of the arm, but  
since mine is taken up entirely by a computer, mine might  
get expensive."  Mulder beamed at her. 
	"Mulder?" she said.  He looked at her questioningly. 
	"Shut up and kiss me." 
	"Yes, ma'am," he breathed, leaning forward and  
touching his lips to hers.  Her mouth melded into his, their  
tongues dancing.  He felt her suddenly laugh against him.   
"What?" he asked, pulling away. 
	"How the hell are we going to get down?" she  
	"Like this," he said, sliding off, her still in his arms.   
They landed with a crash on the carpet, the chair swivelling  
off to the other end of the room.  "Easy," he added, looking  
up at her from his vantage point beneath her.  "Real easy,"  
he whispered, his hands in her hair. 
	Scully leaned down and kissed him, first gently,  
then deeply, reaching down and unbuttoning his shirt.  He  
was doing the same to her, and she shuddered when his  
fingertips brushed against her flesh.  He pushed her shirt off  
her shoulders, then her jeans off her hips.  He rolled her over  
so that she was beneath him, wriggling out of his jeans - an  
endeavour that was not without mishap.  "Serves you right  
for spraypainting them on," she breathed in his ear. 
	Mulder was ready with a retort when he felt her  
hands on him, on his back, his hips, his thighs.  "You win  
that round," he muttered.  "I have better things to do." 
	"Like what, pray tell?" she wondered aloud, gasping  
slightly as his fingers drifted between her legs, touching her  
lazily through the fabric of her panties. 
	"Like kiss you here," he breathed against her cheek,  
"...and here..." he went on, against her stomach,  "...here,"  
he said teasingly against her upper thighs. 
	She reached down and led his hand, pulling off her  
panties.  "Not here?" she asked, holding his hand over the  
tangle of red hair at the top of her legs. 
	"Definitely here," he breathed, and Scully gave a  
small moan of pleasure at the warm breath against her.   
When she felt his warm, moist mouth over her, she reached  
down and cradled his head against her, shifting slightly  
beneath him.  She took one of his hands in hers, squirming  
with pleasure - wanting to get away from its intensity, but  
never wanting him to stop licking and kissing and sucking  
her there as though they had all the time in the world. 
	"Mulder," she whispered mindlessly.  "Oh, God,  
Mulder, you feel so good." 
	Mulder came up to kiss her, her taste and her scent  
on his lips.  She kissed him deeply, savouring the sweetness  
as she felt him pushing against her.  She waited, and then a  
moment later, she felt him deep inside her.  She shivered  
against him, felt a joining which entranced her as it always  
did.  And when finally his spasms and hers subsided, she  
held him when he collapsed against her with a contented  
sigh, and let him draw from that what reassurance he could. 
	A familiar wailing filled the room. 
	Reluctantly, Scully opened her eyes.  Mulder was  
sitting once more at his desk, fully dressed.  She quietly rose  
and pulled on her panties and jeans, and pulled her shirt  
around her shoulders.  Buttoning it, she left the room and  
attended to Liam. 
	Some thirty minutes later, she returned to the study  
and put her arms around Mulder's shoulders.  "What are you  
doing?" she asked, looking over his shoulder at the screen.   
It was an entry pertaining to an old case, one where a  
woman had claimed to be Mulder's missing sister. 
	She felt him tense under her hands.  "I'm just going  
over some old files." 
	"What's wrong?" she asked, frowning. 
	"Nothing," Mulder said tersely, shrugging off her  
arms.  "Don't." 
	Hesitantly, she touched his arm.  "Mulder?" 
	He brought up his hands, clenched them, then with  
great self-restraint put them down again.  "I said, don't!" he  
	Scully put up her hands.  "Okay, Mulder.  It's fine,"  
she said with gentleness she didn't feel, her expression  
	Mulder swung around in his chair.  "What?" he  
demanded.  "What?!" 
	Reluctantly, knowing there was no right thing she  
could say right now, she began, "Mulder, this seems a lot  
like -" 
	Mulder cut her off.  " 'I hate you, don't leave me'  
syndrome.  Mulder doesn't know what he wants because he's  
got BPD, is that what you're going to say?" He got to his feet.   
"You know, I get so sick of the way you look at me like I'm  
some pathological specimen.  Just because I'm ill, you can't  
see me as anything but a diagnosis and a set of symptoms.   
I'm sick of it!  'Mulder, this sounds a lot like insert symptom  
of choice.'  Say it's BPD and it will go away.  It doesn't work  
like that, Scully.  If I don't want to be touched, I don't want  
to be touched, no matter what labels you put on it!" 
	Scully made a sound of exasperation.  "Bloody h-  
two hours ago, you said you didn't mind me noticing when  
your behaviour was borderline!" 
	"Yeah, well, now I do."  He opened his drawer and  
opened a packet of Tylenol.  He took two and dry-swallowed  
	"Another headache?" she asked, trying not to sound  
as fed up as she was.  Her tone was rather less sympathetic  
than she'd intended. 
	"Yes, another headache.  You're so in my face I feel  
like my head's going to split open."  His voice was dripping  
	Scully's features twisted with anger.  "Fuck you,  
Mulder!  All I did was put my arms around you.  One of  
these days you're really gonna drive me away.  Then what  
will you do?" 
	Mulder snapped, "Probably shoot myself.  Now get  
the fuck out of my face." 
	She threw a cushion at him in frustration.  He  
snarled, "Damn it, Scully, I'm not in the mood." 
	Scully gave way to the fury that lay just beneath the  
surface then.  Tears in her eyes, she shouted, "You think I'm  
playing?  I hate what you do to me!  I hate how you push me  
away!  I hate how this has always got to be on your terms!" 
	Mulder's voice became louder and more furious, if  
possible.  "And I hate you acting like you can save me!  I  
hate having to try to be good all the time!  I hate having to  
work so damn hard just to be okay for you and Liam!" 
	"Just leave me alone," he snapped. 
	Scully whirled around, stormed out, and slammed  
the door. 
	"Agent Scully?" 
	Scully looked up from her congealing coffee.  Why  
had she ordered coffee?  She didn't even drink coffee!  "Sir!   
You're a bit far from home," she observed, her voice  
surprisingly normal. 
	Walter Skinner smiled grimly.  "Sharon lives in  
Annapolis.  I just dropped Susan back from an access visit.  I  
thought I'd stop for a coffee before I went home." 
	"Would you like to join me?" Scully said politely,  
wishing to God he'd say no.  She justed wanted to be alone to  
stew.  Of course he didn't. 
	"Thank you, I'd like that."  Skinner sat down  
opposite her, and held out his hands.  "Can I hold Liam?" 
	Scully smiled and handed him over.  Skinner won a  
smile from the child, who proceeded to tug at the Assistant  
Director's glasses.  "Not to get into work matters on a  
weekend, Agent Scully, but I wanted to let you know the  
Bureau has agreed to allocate a small office for your nanny  
to use with Liam.  That means you can have him on-site  
with you, so you don't need to wean to come back to work.   
I've also gotten approval for your nanny to travel with you at  
departmental expense whenever you need to leave  
	Scully raised an eyebrow, curious.  "How many  
favours did you have to call in to manage that?" she asked,  
impressed and touched at the trouble he had taken. 
	Skinner grinned wryly.  "Quite a few, I'll admit." 
	Scully smiled at him, surprised to find that the  
smile was genuine.  "Well, I'm honoured that you took the  
trouble.  I'd like to come back sooner rather than later." 
	They fell silent as Scully absentmindedly sipped her  
coffee, trying not to recoil with distaste.  Skinner motioned  
to a waitress and gave his order, then turned back to her,  
watching her. 
	Finally, he spoke.  He asked gently, "Agent Scully,  
is everything all right at home?" 
	Scully stared at him, thunderstruck.  "Is it that  
	Skinner shrugged, shaking his head slightly in  
negation.  He explained, "Well, it's no secret that Mulder's  
not the most stable of people.  My guess is home life is  
usually pretty stormy."  He gave her a questioning look that  
invited confirmation. 
	"You're right," she admitted, her fingers clenched  
around the cup handle.  It suddenly broke under her grasp,  
splashing her with the last few drops of coffee.  There was  
blood on her hand. 
	Skinner handed her a handkerchief.  "Are you  
okay?" he asked solicitously. 
	Scully nodded, holding the fabric tightly over her  
wounded finger.  "I just - God, he shits me sometimes!" she  
exclaimed with sudden passion. 
	Skinner nodded silently. 
	She went on.  "I just wish he'd grow up!  He's a  
thirty five year old child!" 
	He touched her hand.  "Do you want to tell me what  
happened?" he asked with a neutral tone of voice. 
	Scully shook her head.  "It was stupid.  Mulder just  
doesn't know what the hell he wants sometimes."  Her voice  
was deeply tired. 
	Skinner smiled at her faintly.  "Except you.  Always  
you, Scully." 
	Scully shook her head dubiously, red curls flying.   
"I'm beginning to doubt that." 
	Skinner's voice became firm.  "I don't.  You don't  
know what he was like while you were missing, Scully.  He  
adores you.  He just isn't very good at showing it sometimes.   
And I think what he feels for you scares him.  It always has." 
	Scully smiled faintly, knowing what he said was  
true.  "How the hell did you get him to the altar?"  she  
wondered aloud. 
	"Well, it wasn't easy," Skinner grinned, leaning  
back in his chair with Liam against his chest.  "It all started  
with a yellow ribbon and a Paddington Bear." 
	Scully groaned.  "Oh, God, here we go," she said  
goodnaturedly, pushing away her cup. 
	Skinner ignored this.  "Once upon a time there was  
a Paddington Bear.  He was the long-lost surrogate son of  
Samantha Mulder.  One day, Samantha and her brother,  
Fox, were playing; and Fox, being the prankster that we  
know and love, crept up behind her and tied a bell to the  
ribbon in her hair.  All day long, she heard bells ringing;  
and it wasn't until that night that she found the bell.  She  
didn't tell her mother because he begged her not to, but she  
did write it in her diary, which she kept stuffed inside her  
Paddington Bear - and a very uncomfortable state of affairs  
that was for the bear, too," he added, this last statement  
apparently addressed to Liam.  Scully groaned again.  "Now,  
one day, a little girl named Susan Skinner found this bear,  
and she showed her Daddy the diary.  And her Daddy,  
having found out Fox's deep, dark secret, used it to  
blackmail him into going ahead with his marriage to the  
sweetest woman on earth." 
	Scully burst out laughing.  "That's the most absurd  
story I've ever heard!" 
	Skinner gave a sheepish grin.  "Yeah, well, that's  
why I always got bedtime story duty." 
	Her laughter subsiding, Scully reached out and  
touched his hand.  "Thank you," she said quietly. 
	Skinner looked at her, puzzled.  "For what?" 
	She beamed at him.  "For making me smile.  You're  
a wonderful man." 
	"Tell it to Sharon," he grumbled; but he looked  
pleased nonetheless. 
	"And," she added, "I'm most flattered to be the  
sweetest woman on earth." 
	Skinner smiled faintly, shrugging slightly. 
	Scully debated whether to say something she'd  
wanted to say for a while.  Finally, she said tentatively,   
"You know, after you were shot - when you were in hospital  
- I had the feeling that you felt-" 
	Skinner held up a hand, cutting her off.  "You were  
right.  I do care for you, but our chance, if we ever had one,  
has passed.  Let's say no more about it."  He shifted  
uncomfortably, and determinedly devoted all of his attention  
to Liam. 
	She smiled faintly.  "It's not my desire to embarrass  
you.  I just wanted you to know that I knew, and I care, and  
I'm glad you're our friend."  She took his hand. 
	"I know," he replied quietly, rubbing her hand with  
his fingers for a long moment before breaking free. 
	Scully nodded slowly.  "I should go," she said, not  
wanting the moment to turn awkward.  She rose, took Liam  
from Skinner's arms, and kissed his cheek, lingering there  
for a long moment.  "Take care." 
	"You, too.  And Scully?"  She turned, her face a  
question mark. 
	"Tell Mulder if he doesn't make up with you I'll  
give him a week on surveillance detail." 
	Laughing, she left. 
	When she arrived home, the house was quiet.   
"Mulder?" she called.  "Are you home?" 
	"I'm home," he called from the living room.  "After  
you've put Liam to bed, would you come here, please?" 
	"Okay," she called, and took the baby upstairs.  She  
quickly took off her jacket, unbuttoned her blouse, and  
settled down to feed the baby, all the time wondering what  
she would find when she went downstairs.  His tone had  
seemed even enough... 
	Fifteen minutes later, she had put the baby down in  
the cot and settled him to sleep.  She kicked off her shoes,  
padded down the stairs and walked to the living room. 
	And then she smiled. 
	Mulder had lit candles and arranged a fire in the  
hearth.  There was a picnic rug on the floor, two pizza  
boxes, and two glasses of red wine.  He was sitting on the  
lounge, waiting. 
	"I'm sorry," he said quietly. 
	Scully nodded.  "I know.  You're just hard to be  
with sometimes." 
	"It's pretty hard to be with myself sometimes," he  
replied mildly. 
	"I know," she said again. 
	Mulder rose and went to meet her in the doorway,  
bringing the glasses with him.  He gave her one.  "I hate the  
way I keep doing this to you.  I am trying," he insisted. 
	"So am I," Scully said.  She rose her glass.  "To  
trying," she whispered. 
	Mulder clinked his glass against hers.  "One day at  
a time," he agreed.