Title: Every Step of the Way (3/?)
Author: Deia
Category: V, post-ep, M/S UST (for now)
Rating: PG
Feedback: deia_scully@ig.com.br
Distribution: go ahead, just let me know
Spoilers: The Unnatural
Disclaimer: Not mine, not making any money of it
Summary: The changes in M&S relationship following
the events of The Unnatural

Thank you sweet Sallie for taking the time to do the beta
on this story for me.

This story is dedicated to my dear friend Kimbly and to
all readers of BtS.


Every Step of the Way (3/?)

Part 3: New Recipes

Scully was so lost in thought that she almost missed Mulder
trying to escape their office. She waved the card at him and
smiled, "It's still a weekday, you know."

"I know, but I wasn't thinking of going out today, actually..."
He trailed off, suddenly unsure.

"Actually..." Scully prompted after a few seconds of waiting.

"I was thinking of cooking for you tonight."

Surprise was written all over her face. "Are you serious?"

"Of course, and I promise it won't be just sandwiches. I'll
make a real dinner."

"What's the problem with just sandwiches?" Scully was trying
to keep her expression blank, but one look at the sparkle in
Mulder's eyes and she burst out laughing.

7 weeks earlier

For the fourth time, Scully picked up the phone and put it
down again on the cradle. Why was it so difficult to talk
to him all of a sudden? She inhaled deeply and sat down to
call Mulder, when the phone rang. She nearly jumped with
the sound. "Hello."

"Hey Scully, it's me."

"Hey yourself."

"What are you doing, Scully?"

"Actually I was about to call you."

"Really? What for?" he sounded like a little boy, and she
felt a deep wave of affection for her partner.

"It's just that, you know, it's my birthday, and I was
thinking of inviting you to celebrate it with me." Scully
felt her face burning and her hands shaking a little. She
still didn't feel very confident in this flirting game.

"I'd love to. What were you thinking of doing?"

"Well, I was thinking we could have dinner together."

"Two nights in a row? Must be an X-File."

Scully smiled at the excitement in his voice. "Would you
mind if we stayed at home instead of going out?"

"Not at all. What time should I come over?"

Her first thought was 'Right now,' but decided it wouldn't
be wise. "Around 8 PM sound good?"

"Sounds great. I'll bring the wine."

A sudden flash of Eddie Van Blundht made Scully shudder, and
she pushed the memory aside. "Okay, see you soon." Scully
hung up and went to the kitchen, wondering what she should
cook for dinner. She looked in her cabinets, but didn't find
anything appealing. It would be easier to just buy something
and be done with it, but she wanted to make something special
for Mulder. The thought gave her pause, and for a moment she
couldn't believe she was so anxious to impress her partner of
six years. As if a simple dinner would make any difference in
the way he felt about her. But she did want everything to be
perfect tonight. She wanted Mulder to feel how important he
was to her, and how much she appreciated the effort he was
putting into making things right between them again.

Scully went grocery shopping, and spent the afternoon preparing
salmon, a new recipe her mother had given her. Scully never
understood why her mother insisted on sending her so many
recipes, *must be wishful thinking*, she decided.

The next part was dressing. Scully wanted something at the
same time both casual and beautiful. Most importantly,
something that wasn't black, if she had such a thing in her
wardrobe. After about an hour of internal debate, the navy
blue pants and cream sweater won.

Scully was finishing her hair, when Mulder knocked on her
door. She hurried to open it, and had to take a firm hold
of the doorknob to keep from falling over. It should be
illegal to look that good in such simple attire --black
jeans, a green turtleneck, and the scrumptious black leather
jacket. Her mouth went dry as she stood staring at him.
Mulder smiled at her, and she was sure he might to give her
a heart attack.

"Hi Scully."

Scully shivered. Was his voice always that husky? She scolded
herself. She was acting like a schoolgirl. She smiled at him,
trying to regain her composure.

"Hi Mulder, come on in."

He stepped in and Scully was able to look at the view from
behind. She gulped. Loudly. Mulder turned, and Scully noticed
that he had a bottle of wine in one hand and a single pink
rose in the other. He extended it to her. "Happy birthday,

Scully could feel the heat rise in her cheeks, "Thank you."

Their eyes locked and the heat spread to other parts of her
body as well. She took a step toward him and said in a low
voice, "Dinner is almost ready."

"Okay," he said without breaking eye contact.

"Should I put this in the fridge while we wait?"

Mulder looked confused for a few seconds and then it dawned
on him. "Oh, right." He handled the bottle to her and she
turned to go to the kitchen. Mulder followed her, and stood
in the doorway watching her move around.

"Do you need any help?"

"Well, you could set the table."


When Mulder moved to the dinning room, Scully opened the oven
to see if the fish was ready and felt her heart sink. She
looked up and cursed inwardly. She had forgotten to start it,
and there was no way they would be able to wait the two hours
it took for it to be ready. Was it possible that she had been
that distracted? It was downright stupid, and she felt awful.

Scully was looking at the fish dejectedly when Mulder entered
the kitchen again.

"What's wrong, Scully?" He sounded concerned.

"I forgot to start the oven, and it takes two hours for this
recipe to be ready." Scully sighed and looked at him. She
could see he was trying hard not to laugh, and asked a little
more harshly than she intended, "What?"

"Nothing, it's just... Scully, it's not a big deal. We can
have it tomorrow at lunch, instead. What do you think?"

Scully looked at him and smiled. "Sounds good, but what are
we going to eat now?"

"Let's make some sandwiches, then we'll sit on the couch, take
off our shoes, put our feet on the coffee table, and talk until
the sun rises."

Her smile broadened and she fought the sudden urge to throw
her arms around him. "I like your idea."

"Good." He smiled back at her, while she put the fish in the
refrigerator for the next day.

They worked quickly on the sandwiches, and Scully couldn't
help but notice how comfortable it felt. They moved to the
living room and sat down to eat. She looked at the table
that was still set and started laughing.

"What is it?" Mulder asked curiously.

"I was thinking about my mother."

"What about your mother?"

"It's silly. She keeps sending me these recipes, and the
first time I attempt to make one of them, I forget to
actually cook it."

Mulder laughed softly, "Oh, but you will. Tomorrow."

Scully looked at him then, "Yes, I will."

She was sure he was going to say something to her, but thought
better of it. Then he asked in a light tone, "So, how is your
brother? Does he still hate me with a white-hot passion?"

"Oh, same as usual." She smiled at him. "You should meet
Charlie though. Maybe he'll even like you, who knows?"

"Tell me about him."

"What about him?"

"I don't know. Anything. We have until dawn to talk, after all."

And talk they did--all night long. At some point, Scully
started feeling her eyes grow heavy, and she leaned on Mulder's
shoulder. He wrapped his arms around her and before she drifted
off to sleep, she felt his lips on her forehead and heard his
whispered "Good night, Scully."

End of Part 3